My fertility check-up: The results of my egg count are in
Well worth doing.
Last month I went with two of my Her colleagues, Cathy and Jade, to Dublin's Sims Fertility Clinic for fertility testing. You can read about what we had done and why here.
We went back to the clinic last week to find out the results of our AMH tests, which we had done to find out our egg counts.
How I felt beforehand
In the run-up to getting my results I hadn't been nervous. To be honest, I hadn't given it much thought.
I'm very unsure about wanting children in the future so my results didn't mean as much to me as someone else's might.
That feeling very much changed when I stepped into the clinic.
Chatting with the other girls beforehand, we all agreed that despite our different feelings on motherhood (Jade is adamant she doesn't want kids, Cathy is certain that she does), our results did mean something to us.
Sitting in a building where couples hear make-or-break news and go through rigorous treatments to try and have a baby made learning about our own chances suddenly feel more significant.
I didn't know whether I wanted kids or not but I definitely knew I didn't want that decision made for me.
It was exciting too, finding out about something that was going on inside of us that before this process none of us had given much thought to.
Dr Florencia had a bit of a pokerface when I stepped into her consultation room; something she has no doubt perfected after years of sharing both good and bad news with clients.
Luckily, mine was good news.
A normal AMH level for someone my age (24) would be anywhere between 15 and 39.2 pmol/L.
My level was 31.61, which indicated that I have a healthy number of eggs.
Both of the other girls heard that their AMH levels were well within the normal range for women their age too, so there was some relief all round.
It's important to note that the AMH test can't paint a full picture of a woman's fertility.
A woman's ovarian reserve is only one factor in how fertile she is so a low AMH result doesn't necessarily mean someone can't have children.
An AMH result, according to Sims, "shows how proactive you need to be about fertility, in conjunction with your age."
After she shared my results with me, Dr Florencia gave me some tips on safeguarding my fertility. They were all lifestyle related - eat well, get regular exercise, moderate drinking and avoid smoking.
She also recommended that I keep up to date with my fertility and said that I should look at having another test in the next three to five years if I'm not having babies by then.
Did having it change how I felt about having kids?
I was delighted that it was good news but honestly, it hasn't made me want to become a mother any more or less.
All the experience changed for me was that I'm now a bit more informed and that I'll definitely be more mindful of my reproductive health and fertility in the next few years.
Did I find it worthwhile?
For the sake of finding out more on an area of my health that I knew nothing about but that could have a big impact on my life, it was incredibly worthwhile.
Infertility stories are all too common in Ireland.
If you knew there was a chance you could get a serious illness in the next few years of your life, wouldn’t you like to know as early as possible and be able to make better decisions about your life?
I definitely would and for many people, infertility is as impactful as becoming ill.
That's why I'd recommend an AMH test and fertility testing in general for any woman in her 20s who is considering having kids in the future or even those who are unsure.
This October is Fertility Month on Her, when we’ll be talking all things reproductive health and having babies.
You can check out all of our Fertility Month articles here.
Want to get in touch? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.