Fertility MOT’s are becoming increasingly popular in the industry with fertility clinics offering them almost like a health check for women wishing to assess their capability to conceive. These MOT’s usually consist of a baseline scan with antral follicle count (AFC) and an Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH), which a consultant will use to assess their ovarian reserve. These tests can cost anywhere up to around £300. Although these tests are definitely relevant, some consultants argue that they aren’t enough to paint a full picture on an individual’s / couple’s fertility.
Having worked in the industry for a while now, I have often been tempted out of curiosity to have an AMH test myself, just to see what the results are but have always talked myself out of it. My husband and I have been together 10 years now and married just over 2 years, but we have decided that for now, we have other things we would like to do and achieve before we are ready to start our own family. If I did make the decision to go and have an MOT, would this make us change the way we think? The answer is it most probably would, but is that the right thing to do? I know the statistics for someone in my age group (30, turning 31) and I know the change in these statistics once you hit the age of 35, so I am forever deliberating whether we are making the right decision or not but at the same time, don’t want this decision to be rushed or drastically altered due to what a test is telling me. This is heightened by the fact that even if the test came back within normal range or on the low side, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything when you come to trying to conceive, as the only real way to see if there is a problem or not is to start trying.
Concern with Fertility MOT’s?
Some consultants have raised concerns about Fertility MOT’s being offered to everybody as although there are few physical risks in having the tests undertaken, the emotional risks could have a huge impact. There have been calls for the tests to be accompanied by counselling in order to help patients fully understand the tests and the significance of the results. If you, like me, are in a position where you aren’t yet ready for children but are curious to see what your chances would be, it is important to consider what the significance of the results will be to you, especially if they were to come back “abnormal”. If the answer is that it would change your course of action, then maybe it would be worth speaking to a specialist about an MOT. However, if you can’t see it changing your path in the immediate future, surely what we don’t know, we are less likely to worry about? Although these tests are incredibly important to perform if you know that you are struggling to conceive, are they that relevant if you don’t know this yet? Potentially something to think about if you are considering undergoing a Fertility MOT.
As I have mentioned in my previous blogs, I do feel further education is needed to help make people better informed about fertility in general but at the end of the day, it is down to you as a person / couple to decide when the right time is for you and whether an MOT would give you peace of mind or cause you potentially unnecessary concern.
Holly Scott, Patient and Clinic Liaison Manager
*subject to acceptance and the terms of your plan