Testing women's fertility

Fertility Specialist Kristin Bendikson, MD, explains the common tests that are performed when testing a woman's fertility
How A Woman's Fertility Is Tested - Expert Fertility Advice
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Testing women's fertility

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As a woman ages, her fertility potential declines. For the most part, this is due to the fact that the woman has less eggs, and the eggs that remain in the ovary are of lesser quality. There are several simple tests, as fertility specialists, that we can do to detect women who are having decreased fertility potential or diminished ovarian reserve. The first test, the most common test is testing something called FSH or follicle stimulating hormone. This is a hormone that can be easily tested in the blood. It has to be tested on day three of a woman's menstrual cycle. FSH is created by the brain, so as the brain detects the number of eggs is less in the ovary; it actually creates more FSH. If a woman has an elevated FSH, it means that it may be more challenging for her to get pregnant. Another test is Anti-Mullerian Hormone, or AMH. This is very similar to FSH in that it's a predictor of fertility potential. It can be done at any time in the menstrual cycle, but in a way, it is opposite of FSH. It's actually created within the ovary itself. So as the number of eggs in the ovary is diminished, the AMH will be diminished, and that's abnormal. If the FSH or AMH is abnormal, it doesn't mean that you can't get pregnant; it just means that it might be a little bit harder. In fact, some advanced reproductive technologies might be helpful in improving your chances to conceive. Another method that we use to detect someone's fertility potential is to do an ultrasound and count antral follicles . The follicles are the fluid filled sacks that contain the eggs. As a woman gets older and the number of eggs goes down in her ovaries, the number of antral follicles go down.
PREGNANCY, Fertility, Infertility

Fertility Specialist Kristin Bendikson, MD, explains the common tests that are performed when testing a woman's fertility

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Kristin Bendikson, MD

Fertility Specialist

Dr. Kristin A. Bendikson joined USC Fertility after finishing her obstetrics and gynecology residency at Harvard Medical School and completing her subspecialty training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the internationally renowned Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility at Cornell University Medical College. During that time, she received intensive training in ovulation induction, in vitro fertilization and fertility surgery, as well as the management of other disorders including recurrent pregnancy loss, endometriosis, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Kristin received her undergraduate degree from UCLA and attended the prestigious New York University School of Medicine. Her extensive training and years in practice have prepared her to deal with the most difficult and challenging cases.

Kristin holds the title of Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the USC Keck School of Medicine. She is the currently the principal investigator of several research projects including the study of zygote intrafallopian tube transfer for women of advanced reproductive age, aging of the uterine endometrium and vitamin D and its role in infertility. It is her goal to provide the highest quality care for her patients and to help them fulfill their desire of having a healthy baby. In addition, she strives to guide her patients through what can be a trying and difficult journey by providing them with the support and personal attention they need.

Fertility expert, teacher, and researcher, Kristin is also a married mother of two. She resides in West Los Angeles with her family.

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