Kit helps couples predict fertile years

Jan. 27, 2006 at 2:32 AM
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LONDON, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- A British professor has developed a home fertility kit that aims to help women predict how much time they have left to start a family.

The Plan Ahead kit is marketed by Lifestyle Choices and aimed at women and couples who are delaying children to get a head start on careers, The Independent reported. It retails for 179 pounds ($320).

Bill Ledger, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Sheffield University, said that the test combines the measurement of three hormones, two that start declining fairly early and one that falls off later, to give an accurate prediction of a woman's remaining reproductive years. Women who use the kit have to go to a doctor to get blood drawn, and it is then packaged and shipped to a lab for testing.

The test provides a rough measure of the number of eggs a woman still has available.

A spokeswoman for the Family Planning Association suggested that the kit might give some couples false hopes, because so many factors go into determining fertility, including alcohol use.

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