Premature ovarian aging expert releases tip sheet for timely infertility diagnosis for young women
Too many young women with low ovarian reserve do not get diagnosed quickly, even though tests to determine the level of ovarian reserve are readily available. CHR, a fertility center specializing in treatment of diminished ovarian reserve, releases a tip sheet for young women with possible undiagnosed premature ovarian aging.
For immediate release
March 7, 2012 (New York, NY) – Center for Human Reproduction (CHR), a leading New York fertility center specializing in fertility treatment for women with diminished ovarian reserve (DOR), issued a fertility tip sheet for young women with DOR. Younger women with DOR often spend months or even years before receiving the correct diagnosis, resulting in significant delays in appropriate fertility treatments.
"Detecting DOR is not difficult," says Dr. Gleicher, Medical Director and Chief Scientist of CHR. He continues: "Ovarian reserve can be easily measured by simple blood tests, like follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH). High FSH and/or low AMH suggest a diagnosis of DOR but both need to be assessed in an age-specific way."
However, many fertility centers, unused to treating younger women with premature ovarian aging (POA; a term coined by CHR to describe younger women with DOR), often overlook this condition. "They overlook the diagnosis," explains Dr. Gleicher, "because they do not utilize age-specific cut off values for FSH and AMH."
Normal FSH ranges increase and normal AMH ranges decrease as women age. If all women of all ages are assessed with universal cut off values, younger women will never be diagnosed in timely fashion. "Unfortunately," says Dr. Gleicher, "this is what is still done in many fertility centers."
Once diagnosed with POA, like older women, women with POA have little time to lose since there is no telling how quickly their POA will progress. Though very rapid progression is rare, according to Dr. Gleicher, CHR physicians have seen women go into full menopause in a few short months after diagnosis.
Dr. Gleicher continues: "There isn't a day when we don't hear our patients say 'doctor, I wish I'd known about your center months ago, when I was doing such and such...' The earlier we can start treatment, the better, of course, our chances of helping our patients with POA!"
CHR's tips for younger women with POA to receive timely diagnosis and treatment include the following:
- Be very skeptical of the pseudo-diagnosis of "unexplained infertility." Especially in younger women, this diagnosis only means that a diagnosis of POA was missed.
- Insist on age-specific ovarian reserve testing with FSH and AMH.
- If your age-specific FSH and/or AMH values are abnormal before age 40, you likely suffer from POA.
- If that is not clearly spelled out to you, your physician may have little experience with diagnosis and treatment of POA, and it may be time for a second opinion.
- Remember that with a diagnosis of POA, time is crucial, because nobody can predict how quickly your ovarian reserve will further decline.
Center for Human Reproduction, or CHR, is a leading fertility center in the United States with a worldwide reputation as a "fertility center of last resort," specializing in treatment of infertility in women with diminished ovarian reserve, including younger women with premature ovarian aging (POA) and older women with physiological ovarian aging. Dr. Gleicher is available for additional comments.