Frequently Asked Questions

What age should I have the first POA test?

POA screening is available to women 18-35, but ovarian reserve peaks at around age 24, which makes this age the ideal time to get screened.

How simple or complicated are the blood test?

It's just a blood draw, no different from your regular blood test.

How long does it take to get the results from the online screen?

Typically 24 - 48 hours after the lab results are entered into the What’s My Fertility portal.

Are there signs of POA I need to watch for?

There are typically no symptoms for POA.

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Will I need to be tested more than once?

Depending on your identified level of risk, yes you may.

How often do I need to test?

For women identified as having low or high risk of POA, we recommend follow up testing at appropriate intervals because we need to see which way your ovarian reserve is trending over time.

  • For women at low risk of POA, we recommend a follow up test 6 months after the first screen and then yearly screening after that. By monitoring ovarian function yearly, we will be able to detect early whether you are moving towards POA.
  • For women at high risk of POA, we recommend a follow up cycle one month later and then every three months. We will be able to reach a diagnosis within one year at the latest.

What happens if I’m diagnosed with POA?

  • You’ll still have options even with POA because we are catching it early.
  • What's My Fertility (and your healthcare provider, if you choose to work with one) can put you in touch with fertility specialists and/or help you take proactive steps to make sure you will have the opportunity to be a mother.

What is AMH?

Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) is a hormone secreted by the cells of the developing antral and pre-antral follicles (or egg sacks) in the ovaries. AMH is a strong indicator of a woman's ovarian reserve (OR). As women age, the number of follicles gradually decline, and AMH levels decline with age as well. In essence, reproductive endocrinologists can assess how well a woman’s ovaries are functioning, by evaluating her AMH levels.

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What is FSH?

FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) is a hormone released by the pituitary gland. FSH stimulates the growth of follicles and has a role in the maturation of oocytes. The measurement of FSH levels in the blood is one of the most widely used tests to assess a woman's ovarian function and is typically taken on day 2 or 3 of a woman's menstrual cycle. If a woman's FSH levels are above what is expected for her age, then she is considered to have "High FSH," an indicator of declining ovarian reserve.

What is the FMR1 gene?

The FMR1 gene has long been recognized as a “risk gene” for neuro-psychiatric conditions. Recent research has indicated that this gene regulates how a woman’s ovarian function changes over time, making abnormal genotypes of this gene a strong indicator of future POA. Read more about the role of the FMR1 gene in ovarian function.

What contraceptives can I use as an alternative to hormonal contraceptives?

Methods that use a simple barrier, like male and female condoms, diaphragm and cervical cap are the best alternatives. If you aren't sure, please consult your healthcare provider. Here is some additional information that you may find helpful.

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