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ReproSource Discusses Infertility Misconceptions, Cautions the Use of Newer Fertility Tests

March 16, 2012 - WOBURN, MA

While infertility is a common problem, the specifics of this condition are frequently misunderstood. In fact, the very definition of infertility is the subject of frequent misapprehension. While the condition defines a young woman's inability to conceive a child after a year or more of trying, that timeframe changes to six months when the woman is over 35. This fact reveals something of the relationship between age and fertility -- a relationship that ReproSource, a medical research organization and fertility testing laboratory, says it is vital for women to understand.

"It is not surprising we are seeing populations across the world at risk of decline as people delay having children," comments Dr. Benjamin Leader, who directs clinical research at ReproSource. "The vast majority of women have sufficient numbers of good quality eggs to have children before the age of 30, but subsequently, it is highly variable when an individual's supply of good quality eggs is depleted."

Indeed, this sobering truth has recently been affirmed by members of the media, including the Ivanhoe Broadcast News service. A recent report reveals that the chances of a woman becoming pregnant see a significant drop at age 35. By age forty, the odds are only about five percent. According to the ReproSource research director, this is related to the supply of eggs and egg quality, both of which decrease with age.

"How age, egg quality and egg supply are related is not commonly understood," says Leader. "This results in many women waiting too long to address their inability to conceive, and missing their window for a successful treatment with reproductive technologies."

Success rates with fertility treatment at many fertility centers are very good when women have a sufficient supply of eggs, however, Leader says the biggest obstacle many women face is that they simply wait too long and have too low a supply of eggs -- which can be avoided through earlier proactive testing using new fertility tests such as antimullerian hormone (AMH). "Women experiencing difficulty conceiving can benefit from proactive testing from an appropriate laboratory," the ReproSource researcher confirms. "There is also tremendous benefit to be derived from education that can identify for women their risks for poor egg quality and supply, allowing these women to get help before it is too late."

ReproSource's findings reveal that fertility testing, including the AMH (anti-mullerian hormone) test, can prove helpful in offering women and their clinicians some possible treatment paths, but Leader advises women to be cautious. He notes that, because of the complexity involved in applying the information to one's own fertility assessment, women should ensure they are using a reputable laboratory that focuses on fertility tests such as AMH, and that the testing is reviewed with a clinician familiar with this type of testing and fertility assessment. "It is often better not to get a test, if the laboratory does not perform it in a manner appropriate for fertility assessment or if the clinician interpreting the results is unfamiliar with how to interpret the test."


ReproSource is a clinical laboratory and research organization that exists to provide clinicians and patients alike with the best solutions for fertility testing and education. The organization was founded in 2008 by internationally renowned experts in the areas of diagnostic research, clinical laboratory medicine, and the practice of fertility medicine.


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