Women should have fertility MoT at 25 as a “wake up call” so they don’t leave it too late
Young women should be offered ‘fertility MoTs’ at 25 so that they don’t leave it too late to start a family, doctors have said.
The British Fertility Society has warned that many young women are unaware of how their ability to conceive declines with age and has called for fertility checks to be introduced by the NHS to act as a “wake up call”.
The warning is intended to highlight the risks associated with waiting too long to start a family, such as the heartache of later infertility and complications in pregnancy and child birth.
Professor Adam Balen, Chairman of the British Fertility Society is quoted in the national press as wanting to “put the family back into family planning”, and said that many women were far too optimistic about their biological clock, and that women do not have the control over their fertility that easy access to contraception has led them to believe.
Checks could indicate whether you are more likely to have problems, or start having problems, and could indicate key measures such as how many eggs a woman has left. Consultations could include diet and lifestyle advice such as stopping smoking, cutting back on alcohol and checks on obesity and anorexia, which can contribute to infertility.
The number of women in Northern Ireland aged 35-39 having babies has increased in line with current trends across the rest of the UK, with around a fifth of all babies in the UK now born to mothers over 35 as many women put off starting a family due to a pressure to develop careers. Professor Balen suggests that ideally young couples should be trying to start a family by the time they are in their late 20s, or early 30s. He said that young people need to be able to have the option of both developing careers and starting families, “not one to the exclusion of another”.
With the NHS focused on education to try to prevent pregnancy, rather than encourage it, and a cut back on providing fertility treatments for couples struggling to conceive, it has become more and more common for people to self-fund fertility tests and treatments.
Jenny Dobbs, a leading fertility expert at Randox Health Clinics suggests that a fertility test early and regularly, would help couples who are trying for a family:
“Around one in six couples in Northern Ireland have difficulty conceiving, and this is not always down to a problem with the sperm, eggs and reproductive organs. A fertility health check can be life changing for a couple who are trying for a baby, or for women who want to understand more about their current fertility levels.
Randox Health takes a unique approach to fertility through comprehensive personalised blood testing for both men and women. Highly advanced assessments, or MoTs, are designed to identify the earliest signs of illness and work with clients to prevent disease in your future, which is very important for preserving your fertility and making healthy babies.”
- UK-based diagnostics firm supporting call for responsible use of antibiotics in conjunction with European and International Antibiotics Awareness initiatives
- New molecular diagnostic multiplex assays hold the key to first-time, accurate diagnosis of infectious diseases
- Assays have the power to diagnose primary, secondary and asymptomatic co-infections to inform appropriate antibiotic prescribing
UK-based diagnostics company, Randox Laboratories, is supporting the call for patients and prescribers to ‘resist and desist’ antibiotic use in the fight against antimicrobial resistance this European Antibiotics Awareness Day. Coinciding with international awareness weeks in Australia, Canada and the USA, the concerted efforts of health authorities around the world to curb the spread of antimicrobial resistance is testimony to the global reach of the issue.
Now declared a ‘major threat’ by the World Health Organisation, Randox has been working at the forefront of this global challenge to deliver effective diagnostic solutions to arm against this growing problem. Developed over two decades of research and an investment of £200m, Randox’s innovative Biochip Array Technology (BAT) is the latest weapon in the fight against antimicrobial resistance, with the ability to simultaneously detect multiple pathogens in a single test for rapid and accurate diagnosis.
Randox’s range of molecular assays within infectious disease enable the detection of primary, secondary and asymptomatic co-infections for a more comprehensive understanding of the drivers of infection in individual patients. The Randox STI Multiplex Array simultaneously detects up to 10 pathogens from a single patient sample, whilst the Randox Respiratory Multiplex Array rapidly screens for 22 bacterial and viral upper and lower respiratory tract infections, with same day result reporting, for rapid diagnosis.
As Randox Managing Director Dr Peter FitzGerald CBE FREng explains, screening for all potential pathogens in infectious disease is vital in ensuring accurate diagnoses can be made; “Even after a confirmed diagnosis, many patients who haven’t been tested for a wider range of pathogens may harbour co-infections, impeding the effectiveness of therapeutic treatment and prolonging exposure to infection.
“Through a more comprehensive screening strategy at initial presentation, a complete patient profile can be obtained which will give clinicians greater understanding of the working of the disease and allow them to diagnose and prescribe correctly, ruling in or out the need for antibiotics, and helping to control their appropriate use.”
Antibiotic resistance has largely been fuelled by patient and prescriber overreliance on using antibiotics to treat disease. Once considered to be ‘magic bullets’ for curing infections, antibiotics are now firing blanks as they become ineffective against many common and treatable infectious diseases, such as the sexually transmitted infection, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and respiratory tract infections such as staphylococcus aureus and streptococcus pneumoniae, which have been shown to be acquiring increasing levels of resistance to antibiotic treatment.
“First-time, accurate diagnosis of infection through molecular testing is key to treating infections correctly. The availability of these assays provides a powerful weapon in the fight against antimicrobial resistance and we would encourage health providers around the world to utilise this technology to help curb the spread of the problem.”
For more information visit Randox: www.randox.com.