advertisement
21 February 2010

New blood test shows egg levels

Women will soon be able to tell how many eggs they have in their ovaries in a simple hormone test that Australian researchers said.

0

Women will soon be able to tell how many eggs they have in their ovaries in a simple hormone test that Australian researchers said on Sunday could revolutionise family planning and fertility treatment.

The so called "egg timer" blood test would be able to accurately predict ovum levels based on the concentration of a specific fertility hormone, said conception specialist Peter Illingworth.

"I think this is a big step forward," said Illingworth, medical director of IVF Australia.

"What the test will do is identify those younger women who may well be at serious risk of not having children easily when they're older," he told public broadcaster ABC.

"It will identify women who are at risk of having a premature menopause for example and allow women to plan how active they should be about fertility treatment."

Women who had undergone treatment for cancer or endometriosis or had ovarian surgery would particularly benefit from the anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) test, he said, which would cost just US$58.

It could also save couples tens of thousands of dollars in expensive but ultimately futile in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatments, Illingworth added of the test, which will routinely be offered at the nation's IVF clinics as soon as next month.

Women are born with an average of one to two million eggs in their ovaries, which are shed monthly until menopause, with a 20-year old woman typically having 200 000 eggs.

That number halves as she enters her 30s and dwindles to as low as 2 000 after the age of 40. - (AFP/February 2010)

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Contraceptives and you »

Scientists create new contraceptive from seaweed Poor long-term birth control training leads to 'accidents'

7 birth control myths you should stop believing

Will the Pill make you gain weight? Can you fall pregnant while breastfeeding? We bust seven common myths about birth control.

Your digestive health »

Causes of digestive disorders 9 habits that could hurt your digestive system

Your tummy rumblings might help diagnose bowel disorder

With the assistance of an 'acoustic belt', doctors can now determine the cause of your tummy troubles.