New blood test will show women's egg levels: report

Feb 21, 2010

Women will soon be able to tell how many eggs they have in their ovaries in a simple hormone test that Australian researchers said Sunday could revolutionise family planning and fertility treatment.

The so called "egg timer" would be able to accurately predict ovum levels based on the concentration of a specific fertility , said conception specialist Peter Illingworth.

"I think this is a big step forward," said Illingworth, medical director of IVF Australia.

"What the test will do is identify those younger who may well be at serious risk of not having children easily when they're older," he told public broadcaster ABC.

"It will identify women who are at risk of having a premature menopause for example and allow women to plan how active they should be about fertility treatment."

Women who had undergone treatment for cancer or endometriosis or had ovarian surgery would particularly benefit from the anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) test, he said, which would cost just 65 dollars (58 US dollars).

It could also save couples tens of thousands of dollars in expensive but ultimately futile in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatments, Illingworth added of the test, which will routinely be offered at the nation's IVF clinics as soon as next month.

Women are born with an average of one to two million eggs in their ovaries, which are shed monthly until , with a 20-year old woman typically having 200,000 eggs.

That number halves as she enters her 30s and dwindles to as low as 2,000 after the age of 40.

Explore further: Novel marker discovered for stem cells derived from human umbilical cord blood

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Biological clock test aimed at women

Apr 25, 2008

Doctors said a blood test being offered at U.S. fertility clinics may help determine if a woman's window of opportunity for conception is closing.

New hormone data can predict menopause within a year

Oct 27, 2008

For many women, including the growing number who choose later-in-life pregnancy, predicting their biological clock's relation to the timing of their menopause and infertility is critically important.

No evidence older women generate new eggs

May 08, 2007

It is highly unlikely that older women generate new eggs, report researchers at the University of South Florida in collaboration with a center in China.

Recommended for you

Leeches help save woman's ear after pit bull mauling

59 minutes ago

(HealthDay)—A pit bull attack in July 2013 left a 19-year-old woman with her left ear ripped from her head, leaving an open wound. After preserving the ear, the surgical team started with a reconnection ...

New pain relief targets discovered

12 hours ago

Scientists have identified new pain relief targets that could be used to provide relief from chemotherapy-induced pain. BBSRC-funded researchers at King's College London made the discovery when researching ...

Building 'smart' cell-based therapies

13 hours ago

A Northwestern University synthetic biology team has created a new technology for modifying human cells to create programmable therapeutics that could travel the body and selectively target cancer and other ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Leeches help save woman's ear after pit bull mauling

(HealthDay)—A pit bull attack in July 2013 left a 19-year-old woman with her left ear ripped from her head, leaving an open wound. After preserving the ear, the surgical team started with a reconnection ...

Venture investments jump to $9.5B in 1Q

Funding for U.S. startup companies soared 57 percent in the first quarter to a level not seen since 2001, as venture capitalists piled more money into an increasing number of deals, according to a report due out Friday.

White House updating online privacy policy

A new Obama administration privacy policy out Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites. It also clarifies that ...

Scientists tether lionfish to Cayman reefs

Research done by U.S. scientists in the Cayman Islands suggests that native predators can be trained to gobble up invasive lionfish that colonize regional reefs and voraciously prey on juvenile marine creatures.