Each week, Fertility Solutions proposes a question to our followers on social media. These questions range from relating to various aspects of fertility and reproductive health. In July, Dr. Huang of Fertility Solutions provided the research questions and answers that were posed to our followers on Facebook, Twitter, and GooglePlus.
During the week we post the answers to these questions and encourage those on social media to pose their answers in the lead up to Friday. We encourage you to read the research questions we offered for the month of July and see if you are able to guess the correct answer, and to Like/Follow Fertility Solutions on social media for August’s research questions!
The hormone that stimulates the development of a mature egg is called:
a. Luteinizing hormone
b. Follicle Stimulating hormone
c. Thyroid hormone
Answer: A and B. A rise in FSH stimulates the growth of a follicle (a cyst containing the egg) but LH is needed for final maturation and release of the egg (ovulation).
True or False: My ovulation kit did not turn positive this month, does this mean that I did not ovulate?
If you have regular periods you are most likely ovulating. The urine ovulation kit can be helpful to predict ovulation within 24-48 hours of turning positive, however, the results may vary depending on urine concentration of LH hormone. If you have irregular cycles or have high LH levels, the ovulation kit may not be accurate.
How reliable is over the counter testing for the FSH hormone to predict fertility potential?
Not very reliable. The threshold level of FSH which results in a negative vs a positive test is considered “proprietary” by manufacturers and is not published. All FDA approved kits must be able to detect levels above 25 IU. A normal level may be misleading. Age is still the best predictor of fertility. Any hormone test is not a substitute for a consultation with a reproductive specialist.
How accurate are home semen tests?
These are kits claim to measure a threshold of sperm concentration, from 10-20 million sperm/ml. Unfortunately, they do not measure parameters such as motility and morphology which determine if the sperm can fertilize an egg. No trials have been done to compare commercial sperm testing results with traditional analysis.