Personal fertility testing with Let's Get Checked
‘ Personal fertility testing with Let's Get Checked’ is a sponsored post, in collaboration with LetsGetChecked.com. It is a truth universally acknowledged that none of us is getting any younger – nor are we getting any more fertile. With that, we're waiting longer to have children and more and more couples are having difficulty trying to conceive.
I'm not trying to scaremonger; I, of all people, don't stress unnecessarily about this because, firstly, I don't think I even want kids and, secondly, I tend to lean on the "what will be, will be" side of life.
That being said, I firmly believe that knowledge is power – and now that personal fertility testing is a thing, why would we not choose to take our fertility into our own hands and (if you'll excuse the pun) bone up on the information now, regardless of when exactly we're going to need it?
What's involved with personal fertility testing?
You may remember that last year, I partnered with Let's Get Checked to talk about their online sexual health testing. Well, since that post, they've expanded their range of personal health tests to include general health screening, cancer screening and personal fertility testing – which I was particularly interested in as, well, a woman in my 30s.
They offer a few different forms of personal fertility testing, from tests to track ovulation to overall fertility measurement tools for him and for her and – the test I took – an ovarian reserve test, which measures AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) levels in the body and uses them to provide an indication of your ovarian reserve (how well your ovaries are working with regard to egg production and quality).
What do you need to do?
Like the sexual health tests before, the online fertility testing is completed by you, with a few super simple steps. Once you receive your personal fertility test (which comes in a fairly regular – and totally unidentifiable – envelope), you register it online so that your kit number (patient identifier) is tied to your account. Then you fill in the required form in your box and prepare to take your blood sample.
This bit is so much easier than I thought it would be. They provide three little lancets, which you use to prick the tip of one finger. Then you essentially massage your finger (a bit like I'd imagine milking a cow!) and squeeze the drops of blood into the tube. Simple. (Check out the really easy to follow how-to video.)
Then you seal up your little blood sample tube in the biohazard bag provided, pop it back into the box and tuck everything away into the pre-paid, addressed envelope – and post it. It's really that simple.
What happens then?
Then, you wait – and when your sample has been received, it will be processed, analysed and the results will be delivered to your personal online account in a matter of days. (Mine took two.)
In my case, a nurse called me up to talk through my results; as previously discovered, my AMH levels are pretty low for my age, meaning that my egg reserves are more than likely pretty low. But, as my Let's Get Checked nurse was quick to reassure me, that doesn't necessarily mean that my chances of conception are low; it's not necessarily a definitive measure of quality, and women with low ovarian reserves often conceive, no problem (while those with high AMH levels may have difficulty – like I said, it's not definitive).
One of the new aspects of the Let's Get Checked service, in fact, is the "speak to nurse" button on the homepage (once you've logged in); at any stage, you can click on this button and a nurse from Let's Get Checked will call you up – maybe to chat through your test, to further explain your results or just to assist with any troubleshooting queries you may be encountering.
Who is personal fertility testing for?
Ultimately, where I see the role of Let's Get Checked is in empowering people to really take control of their own health – sexual, reproductive and otherwise. It allows you to independently check for STIs, for example, or to test your fertility levels, instead of having to investigate via a clinic or your GP; you can equip yourself with vital knowledge about your body and its functions without ever having to leave your house.
One of the things that should be pointed out is that Let's Get Checked isn't aiming to provide a cheap form of online fertility testing; this isn't necessarily a cost-saving exercise. It's about convenience, and security and knowing that you're taking your health into your own hands.
I know that I, for example, would rather take a Let's Get Checked STI test than go and queue for 45 minutes in my GP's office to have bloods taken, then wait a week for the results; I'd rather measure my AMH levels myself on a regular basis, so that I can equip myself with as much information as possible about my reproductive chances.
In this context, "chance" is a pretty interesting choice of words – because, in fact, by taking these steps yourself, you're not leaving anything to chance.
This post is in partnership with Let's Get Checked. As usual, all opinions, experiences and anecdotes are my own. For more on my attitude to freebies, affiliates and commercial collaborations, check out my disclaimer. LetsGetChecked.com