Menopause Test Lets Women Count Their Eggs Before It’s “Too Late”

By Nina Bai | November 5, 2008 7:22 pm

eggsThirty-something women of the world, fear not! Science is working to bring a solution to the “delaying motherhood” dilemma.

It’s true that a woman’s eggs are a limited, non-renewable, commodity. But it’s not easy to predict when they’ll run out. Menopause, when the female reproductive system shuts down for good, usually occurs sometime between age 45 and 55. This ten year window leaves a big question mark for women trying to plan for (or against) having children.

Now, a new hormone test could narrow this window by predicting the onset of menopause to within just a few years. The new test measures levels of three hormones in the blood—anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and inhibin B—that change noticeably as menopause approaches. For example, a 14 year study of 629 women found that levels of AMH practically disappear 5 years before a woman’s last period. With the new test, women can map out their “5 year egg plans” and leave a little less to chance. Though mapping out what happens to the kids once they’re born may not be quite so easy.

Related Content:
DISCOVER: Why Women Change
DISCOVER: How Old Is Too Old to Have a Baby

Image: flickr / woodleywonderworks

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Sex & Mating
MORE ABOUT: hormones, menopause
  • sunshine

    i am a 21 year old and a mother of a beautiful baby boy.he is 5 months old and i love him more than anything.so yes i can understand why most women would want to have children of their own especially when their time is about to run out.however when you say that mapping out what happens to the children after they are born isnt easy that just seems just wrong.we already have more than enough children in this world that have no parents at all and that are born that have disabilities that we need to have the common sense not to do it on purpose.if the chances that the after math of the childrens birth is unknown then the women of this world that are growing close to the end of their children bearing cycles need to use their wisdom and experince towards those who need it now.not just add to the problem.i know that if i ever get the chance to help a child that has had every opportunity for a good life stripped from them back their childhood and give them the opportunities that they deserve i would do it in a heart beat.and so many of these women have that chance.this is one of the main problems with the united states and i think that the women of this world need to step up and do what they all know that they can do and help.if we keep on adding to the problem who are we to feel bad when we see these poor children on the streets or in these foster homes when we arent doing anything about it!

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