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Fertility Testing for Lesbians
Prior to proceeding with treatment, diagnostic fertility testing is recommended for the lesbian partner who plans to become pregnant using her own eggs.
There are numerous factors that impact the ability to conceive and carry a successful pregnancy. Whether or not you have fertility issues will impact your treatment and the possibility of insurance coverage.
Diagnostic testing takes place after your initial new patient visit, commencing with the beginning of your next menstrual cycle. Testing is divided into three categories. Ovarian reserve needs to be determined through blood tests. Your reproductive tract (uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries) is also evaluated through Radiologic and ultrasound tests, in addition to blood work to screen for infectious and genetic diseases.
What’s age got to do with it?
Ovarian Reserve—the number and quality of eggs a woman has available when she tries to become pregnant—is the major factor that links age and infertility.
Female fertility is fixed very early in life. Primordial cells that will become eggs (oocytes) begin to develop in the human fetus by the 7th week of gestation, and the total number peaks at 20 weeks gestation. From a peak of 6 to 7 million, the oocyte number declines to about 350,000 by birth. By puberty, 200,000 follicles on average (fluid filled sacs in the ovary that contain oocytes) remain in a woman’s ovaries.
From puberty to menopause, 99.9% of oocytes are lost due to the monthly process of the reproductive organs, which includes the selection of one oocyte for possible fertilization while others that have developed during that month are victims of apoptosis (programmed cell death). This decades-long process is, in fact, the body’s natural progression to eventual ovarian failure and infertility.
So, excluding any other factors that might prevent pregnancy, age has a lot to do with infertility. The statistics reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate the following percentage of women who are infertile by age group:
• 7% by age 30
• 11% by age 34
• 33% from age 35 to age 40
• 87% by age 45