Female Fertility Test detects raised levels of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) in urine in order to help establish a woman’s fertility. FSH stimulates the follicles in the ovaries to mature so that the woman can ovulate and release an egg. Hormonal imbalance or raised levels of the FSH hormone can interfere with a woman’s fertility which in some cases will make it difficult or even impossible to conceive.
When should I carry out the test?
A. REGULAR CYCLE
If you are still menstruating you should perform the first test on DAY 3 of your cycle (day 3 counting from the first day of your menstrual bleeding). The second must be carried out exactly one week after the first test (Day 10 counting from the first day of menstrual bleeding).
First morning urine is not recommended as may give false results (morning urine has the highest concentration of the hormone). Use midday / afternoon urine for testing - do not drink excessively before the test as the urine may become diluted.
B. NO MENSTRUATION/IRREGULAR CYCLE
If your cycle is absent or very irregular you can perform the first test on any day of the month in the afternoon. You should take the second test exactly 1 week later in the afternoon. Record both results for A or B in the table provided below or in a safe place.
1. Do not open the test foil pouch until you are ready to test.
2. To begin testing, open the sealed foil pouch and remove the test.
3. Collect some urine in an initially clean and dry container and immerse the white absorbent tip for 10 seconds.
4. Remove the test strip from the urine, place the test stick on a clean, dry and flat surface with the results facing up and begin timing.
5. You will notice a flow moving across the testing surface as the test begins to work. If you cannot see the flow of pink dye the test has not started - dip the test again for another 10 seconds. Read the result after 10 minutes but no later than 15 minutes. Do not interpret the results after 15 minutes.
6. Dispose of used test in the bin. Do not flush down the toilet. After exactly 7 days repeat the procedure with the second test.
You must perform 2 tests with one week interval to be able to interpret the results. The result from one test cannot be interpreted.
READING THE RESULTS - > 10-15 MINUTES AFTER TESTING
When the test is finished, you will see one or two pink lines. Compare the colour intensity of the Test Line and the Control Line.
Now check your test result with the ‘Result key’ above and choose the closest match and note if the result is ‘Positive’ or ‘Negative’. In the empty table, found below left, write the ‘Positive’ or ‘Negative’ result below ‘TEST 1’ for the first test result and below ‘TEST 2’ for the second test one week later. Once both results are obtained check the ‘Overall Result’ by using the ‘INTERPRETATION OF RESULTS’ table.
The test is NEGATIVE if:
- Only ONE line, the Control Line, appears as shown in the ‘Result key’ above;
- TWO lines appear as in the ‘Result key’ above: the FIRST is the Control Line and the SECOND is the Test Line which is visibly lighter than the Control Line.
The test is POSITIVE if:
TWO lines appear as in the ‘Result key’ above and the Test Line is darker than or very similar in colour to the Control Line.
The test is INVALID if:
- Only ONE line, the Test Line, appears as in the ‘Result key’ above but there is no visible Control Line showing.
- No lines appear anywhere - this can occur when not enough urine was absorbed by the test and the test has not started. The test should be placed in urine for another 10 seconds until a flow of pink dye appears.
INTERPRETATION OF RESULTS - IMPORTANT
A negative result is a good result as it indicates that FSH levels are not raised. This only eliminates one possibility and does not guarantee fertility. You should still see a doctor if you experience any unusual or ongoing symptoms such as irregular cycles, lack of ovulation or no success when trying for a baby.
If the result is positive you should repeat the test in the next cycle or confirm the result with your doctor
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
1. What is Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)?
This is a hormone generated by the body. In women FSH tells the follicles in the ovary to mature so that the woman can ovulate releasing an egg into the uterus.
Each month these levels will continue to rise through into menopause as more and more of the hormone is needed with each ovulation, to stimulate the follicles into maturity, since fewer eggs are left.
2. When can I use the test?
It is recommended that you perform the test in the early phase of your menstrual cycle, typically around cycle days 3 to 5. At this time the levels of FSH are called basal FSH levels. The FSH levels will increase as you approach ovulation and performing the test, other than on the suggested days, may give you false positive results.
3. How will I know that the test worked?
The test has got built in Quality Control features. The test has worked if the pink Control Line is present as shown in the ‘Results key’ overleaf.
4. How sensitive is this Fertility Test?
The test detects FSH in urine at concentrations of 25mIU/ml and higher.
5. Am I fertile if I test negative?
A negative test result is not a guarantee of fertility, but an indication of FSH levels. FSH plays a significant role in the regulation of sexual reproduction in both men and women and its raised levels can be one of the factors affecting your fertility.
6. Can I stop contraception if the test is positive?
A positive test result does not guarantee infertility, it is only an indication that the FSH levels are higher and may inhibit you from becoming pregnant but may not necessarily prevent it.
FSH – ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
FSH levels that are high can indicate that a woman's body is trying to stimulate ovulation without success. Failure to ovulate is one of the initial symptoms of menopause and infertility.
Other symptoms that may indicate high FSH levels
High levels of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) can cause several adverse symptoms in many women including hot flushes, insomnia, headaches and infertility. Levels outside the normal range may cause women to feel moody, gain weight and cause irregular menstruation.
Women who are concerned about high FSH levels should speak with
Natural ways to lower FSH levels
Altering one's diet can help lower FSH in some women. Food rich in iron and vitamin E may help. Wheatgrass and protein may help as well. Also, some studies show that women who eat less dairy, wheat and sugar may be more fertile and have lower FSH levels.
A regular exercise routine may also help lower FSH levels. Aerobic exercise, like walking or running, is usually considered to be best for this purpose. This type of exercise helps promote healthy circulation. When enough blood is pumping through the body, an adequate amount of FSH is more likely to reach the ovaries. This, in turn, will cause the pituitary gland to produce less FSH.
Some experts believe that acupuncture and acupressure therapy may also help lower FSH. A licensed therapist can stimulate pressure points that may increase blood flow to the female reproductive organs. These types of therapies will not usually work for women who have a low egg count and not at all with infertile eggs present.
Stress management can also lower FSH levels in some women. Since some believe that stress can cause poor blood circulation, women who are more relaxed may have more FSH reach their reproductive organs. This will typically cause less FSH to be produced. Some women may want to try a daily yoga or stretching routine. Deep breathing exercises or meditation may also help.
Medications can influence results
Certain medications may influence the levels of FSH in a woman. Birth control medications, including oral contraceptives, may either raise or lower FSH in some women. Specific prescribed medications are also available to help lower a woman's FSH.