What You’ll Learn from a What’s My Fertility Screening
What’s My Fertility is an online tool that gives women solid knowledge about their own future fertility, which gives them the information they need to make decisions about their reproductive futures now. If you’re concerned about your future fertility, you know that there’s a lot of information about women’s fertility available on the Internet. Much of the information aimed at women in their 30’s is a thinly-veiled marketing push for egg freezing, and it can be hard to know whether this procedure is really right for you. Even more frustrating is that women don’t have a lot of ways to get information specific to themselves. This is where What’s My Fertility comes in.
What’s My Fertility screens for a condition called premature ovarian aging (POA). Affecting as many as one in ten women, POA reduces a woman’s fertility sooner than normal. All women experience an age-related decline in fertility, starting in their early 30s, but women with POA lose their fertility sooner, with some of them becoming infertile by the time they are in their mid- to late 30s (when other women are still having children normally).
If your What’s My Fertility screening results reveal that you are at risk of POA, you can take proactive steps now to safeguard your future fertility. But most women will learn that they are not at risk of POA. If your results reveal that your risk of POA is low, that might be exactly the reassurance you need in order to focus on your other priorities for a while.
POA is treatable, but time-sensitive
The good news here is that POA is treatable, and treatments are very effective when the condition is caught early. Early screening helps at-risk women plan around the possibility that they may not be able to get pregnant easily after a certain age. If they decide to have children earlier in life, they can avoid POA-induced infertility entirely. Even women who are diagnosed with POA can be treated with success, if treatment is started early. POA usually worsens with time, so the key to successful treatment is to catch it early—and catch it before POA even becomes a problem.
Even if you aren’t ready to have children yet--which is the reality for most women going through the What’s My Fertility screening--knowing that you are at risk of losing your fertility sooner than normal can give you the heads-up you need in order to take now, like periodic monitoring of your ovarian reserve and freezing your eggs before they deteriorate in quality.
Most women will learn that they’re not at risk of early infertility
With all that said, most women will find the What’s My Fertility screening results reassuring: A vast majority of women will learn that their ovaries are on a normal aging “schedule” without known risk factors of premature ovarian aging (POA). If this is you, you’ll have the evidence-based knowledge about your own body to focus on your current life priorities, worry-free.
It may still be a good idea to occasionally check your hormone levels to make sure things are progressing the way they should, but in most cases, you will have some time before getting serious about family and children.
What’s My Fertility will tell you whether egg freezing is right for you
In the last few years, egg freezing became a big commercial “industry.” On social media as well as on street corners, we are now bombarded by slick marketing campaigns pushing egg freezing to virtually everyone. Studies have shown that egg freezing, while costly and invasive, benefits only a small minority of women, but the marketing push has many women worried that they also have to freeze their eggs, regardless of what “schedule” their ovarian reserve might be on.
Getting screened with What’s My Fertility gives you a science-based knowledge about how your own ovaries are likely to “age” over time. Compare this knowledge with your plans for education, career, relationships and more, and you can have a fairly good idea of where your fertility may be when you are ready to start a family. If you realize that you may not be ready for a family before your fertility is likely to start declining, you might decide to explore egg freezing. That’s a much more effective approach to egg freezing than freezing your eggs without really knowing whether you’ll eventually need them or not.
Women at risk for POA will learn next steps for safeguarding their future fertility
Through What’s My Fertility, some women will find out that they are at risk of developing POA. That knowledge about themselves lets women at risk of POA take some proactive steps now, including egg freezing, to plan their lives around the possibility of losing fertility earlier.
- For women at low risk of POA, we recommend a follow up blood 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 when your ovarian reserve starts declining rapidly.
- For women at high risk of POA, we recommend a follow up cycle one month later and then every 3 months. We would also strongly recommend a consultation with one of the What’s My Fertility physicians at the Center for Human Reproduction, or with your primary care physician.
A small minority of women will find out that they’ve already developed POA. While this may come as a shock, the good news is that you now know, and there are steps you can take to safeguard your future.
Who should take a What’s My Fertility screening?
What’s My Fertility is for any woman between the ages of 18 and 35, unlessshe is absolutely certain that she does not want children. Early POA risk screening is important because POA typically has no symptoms. Once a woman’s ovarian reserve (the capacity of her ovaries to produce eggs that will lead to a healthy pregnancy) begins to decline, it continues to decline with time, and it’s impossible to predict tell how fast your case of POA will progress. Early detection helps you keep your options open.