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A Common Fertility Test Tells Nothing, New Study Finds

infant sleeping
Andrés Nieto Porras
/
Wikimedia Commons -2017
A new study suggests that the common practice of testing ovarian reserve can not be used to measure fertility, contrary to popular belief.

Doctors at fertility clinics often recommend women test their ovarian reserve to see how many eggs they have left. While the test can show how long a woman has before menopause, it was also commonly used to evaluate women’s likelihood of naturally conceiving. 

The test became more and more popular as women increasingly postpone having children and as technological advances allow them to freeze their eggs for later attempts at conception. Dr. Anne Steiner set out to prove whether or not testing ovarian reserve was a significant measure of fertility and found that there was no correlation, upturning a commonly held belief and practice.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Steiner, reproductive endocrinologist and a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, about the study findings and their implications. 

This segment originally aired Nov. 8, 2017.

Jennifer Brookland is the American Homefront Project Veterans Reporting Fellow. She covers stories about the military and veterans as well as issues affecting the people and places of North Carolina.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.