A Cork-based company has launched clever at-home fertility tests
In Ireland today, the HSE estimates that as many as one in six couples will face fertility issues when trying to conceive.
This rather grim statistic could be down to many factors, especially the fact that many couples now wait until later in life to try to start a family. In fact, according to statistics from the Central Statistics Office, the average age of Irish mothers for births registered in the second quarter of 2020 was 33.1 years, a slight increase on the same period the previous year.
Unfortunaltly, infertility is a growing problem – both here in Ireland and globally, as couples wait until they are older to have children, something which is resulting in increased demand for fertility services around the country.
“In the past number of years, Sims IVF have seen an increase in demand for fertility treatment in all clinics," said Amy Murphy, nurse manager in Sims IVF in Swords, Co Dublin.
"During the Covid-19 pandemic and the uncertainty that it brings, some patients have made the decision to prioritise their own requirements, and starting a family is one of those things."
Tracking your own fertility
Keeping track of your fertility is often the first step when it comes to trying for a baby, and now, a Cork-based company has launched what’s believed to be Ireland’s first consultant-led at-home fertility tests.
Advanced Medical Services (AMS), a medical screening company based in Little Island, Cork, has launched an at-home fertility test for women aged from their late 20s to 40s.
To complete the test, women simply have to prick their finger on day two or three of their menstrual cycle and place a small blood sample into a vial, which is then sent for testing at an INAB-accredited lab.
"The company, which has provided assessments and screenings to more than 300,000 individuals since its formation a decade ago, worked with leading fertility expert Dr Lyuda Shkrobot, who has a master's in ultrasound, as well as a master's in reproductive endocrinology.
“The home testing kit offers a comprehensive picture of fertility status, all whilst being carried out in the privacy of one’s own home,” Dr Shkrobot said.
"This is a proactive approach to family planning and the service is perfect for anyone who is curious about their fertility, wants to start a family, or is thinking about pregnancy.”
Ed Donovan, chief executive at AMS, said the company believed they could offer something to couples who were planning to start a family.
“As a company, we have adapted a number of our services to allow people to carry out medical screening in the comfort of their own homes,” he said.
“We believe that a private and discreet approach to this service can help increase accessibility to fertility testing, and lead to more informed decisions for couples.”