Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Health

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

DiscoblogBy Nina BaiNovember 6, 2008 6:22 AM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

eggs.jpg

Thirty-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 happensto 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

2 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In