Lately there has been a heavy emphasis for over-the-counter fertility tests or at-home fertility tests.
What are the different types of tests available?
There are many types of over the counter/ at home fertility tests such as:
- Pregnancy tests
- Ovulation tests
- Sperm check tests
- Hormonal Blood tests
The above types of tests can be bought at a pharmacy or places such as Boots or Superdrug.
Blood tests can be ordered online for a kit to be delivered to your home address through for example Randox and Medichecks. For the at-home blood tests the process includes pricking your finger and milking your finger so that you can catch the blood in a tiny sample pot and send it off.
So what are the pros and cons of these types of tests?
- They are convenient
- They serve as a good starting point.
- There is no health risk – done in the comfort of your own home.
- It could help you save time, having the tests done before having an actual consultation as it provides early information about fertility.
- Most of the tests are 99% accurate. However, that does mean for 1% it may not be.
- It is unlikely that the test alone will give you the answer as to why you are not conceiving.
- Without interpretation the tests often don’t makes sense to those who are not medical professionals.
- Tests cannot predict your ability to conceive.
- Might give a sense of false reassurance, as there are other known causes for infertility
Often infertility is not just caused by just one thing. There may be hormonal, anatomical and or other medical issues causing infertility, at home/ over the counter test cannot check for all of these.
To conclude, is there a place for these tests – yes there is. However blood hormone tests should be done with medical interpretation from an expert.
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