Researchers found there’s little correlation between a woman’s “ovarian reserve” test and her chances of getting pregnant.

Women in their 30s and 40s anxious about their dwindling prospects of getting pregnant have become a booming market for a new arm of medicine: fertility testing.

Thousands of women have flocked to have their “ovarian reserve” measured, and have made major life decisions — like whether to try to have kids sooner — based on the results of these tests, which typically cost between $150 and $350. Ovarian reserve, or the amount of eggs a woman has left in her ovaries compared to other women her age, was thought to be a key metric of reproductive capacity.

But a new study out in JAMA shows that these tests are often useless for many of the women to whom they’re marketed.

While ovarian reserve tests can still inform would-be moms about their chances of success at harvesting eggs for egg freezing or for in vitro fertilization, they are not necessarily a good predictor of a woman’s ability to conceive through sex. Getting pregnant ultimately depends on many, many complicated factors in both women and their partners — not simply how many eggs remain in a woman’s ovaries.

How fertility testing became a booming business

For the first time, more American women are having babies in their 30s than in their 20s — part of the gradual increase over the past four decades in the average age women becoming parents.

But getting pregnant in your 30s or 40s can also come with a lot of uncertainty about whether it’s even possible conceive, and how much time might be left before infertility sets in.

Enter fertility testing, a relatively new industry that claims to be able to help women answer these Read More Here