Once or twice each month I encounter distressed women – usually in their early to mid ’30s – who’ve come to the clinic because they’re seeking help and support for their ‘fertility’ or ‘infertility’. Mostly, these women haven’t yet had a baby.
They’ve usually been to their general practitioners after trying unsuccessfully to conceive for the preceding months. More often than not, their male partners are yet to see the doctor.
One of the triggers for visiting a natural medicine clinic will be their belief – based on a blood test ordered by the doctor – that they have “old ovaries” and are “running out of time” so they want to do whatever they can to maximise their chances of conceiving and having a baby.
In recent years this blood test – the AMH test – has become known as the ‘egg-timer test’ or the ‘ovarian age test’.
Some days, it feels like a generation of women have been led to believe that their chance of conception – their fertility – is riding on this test result.
I’m dismayed and saddened by this, as there is so much more to a couple’s potential fertility than the numerical result of just one blood test. And you’ll note, I did say couple. Fertility and conception are a 50:50 deal, not the sole domain of women.
I was relieved when I found these two articles about the AMH test. From a credible source, you need to read them.
If you’re hoping to have children within the next year or so, think about booking a long appointment with an empathetic GP who has excellent communication skills and a particular interest in pre-conception care.