Being proactive with your fertility when planning your future family


Dr Tharni Vasavan BSc (hons) MSc, PhD

Published: May 16th, 2022 | Last medically reviewed: January 10th, 2024

7 minute read

Are you currently thinking about the future and that one day, you would like to start a family? Planning a future family can come with some concerns regarding your fertility. You may be asking yourself questions like, “am I fertile?”, “What if I’m not fertile and I can’t have babies?”, “What if I am fertile now but as I get older, I will have less chance of conceiving?”

These are all natural concerns that women have when they begin to consider starting a family. We are firm believers in taking control of your fertility future, so stick around to find out all that you need to know regarding your fertility today. Including understanding your ovarian reserve, how many eggs you should have left at your age, how medical history can impact fertility and more.

19% of all women who try for a baby will remain childless

Want kids someday?

The most common causes of infertility in women are a low ovarian reserve (not having enough eggs left), low-quality eggs (the viability of eggs decreases as we age) and undiagnosed reproductive health conditions. It is important to test your fertility, even before you are ready to have a family, so you are aware of any potential health issues that could harm your fertility.

You may choose to have kids or you may decide against it, but the key is that it’s your decision to make.

That’s why we’re on a mission to give clarity to everybody through science-backed hormone and fertility testing and care that fits conveniently into the lives of as many women as possible; so they can make informed decisions when it comes to life’s big questions about starting a family.

What is ovarian reserve?

We are all familiar with the fact that as our bodies age, we become less likely to be able to conceive. But what does it actually mean? Let’s take a closer look at what the ovarian reserve means for the fertility of women.

  • The release of an egg from your ovary (ovulation) is one of the most important factors for a successful pregnancy.

  • Your ovarian reserve is the number of eggs in your ovaries that can be successfully fertilised.

  • If you’re biologically female, also known as assigned female at birth (AFAB), you will have been born with all the eggs you’ll ever have.

We can check your ovarian reserve as part of our fertility test for women. As well as being able to recognise if you may have one of 18 reproductive health conditions, our online health assessment can personalise your test based on symptoms you may be having.

How many eggs do I have?

You are born with all the eggs you will ever have and your age can be an indicator of your egg supply. The number of eggs starts to decline after birth and although it varies from person to person, these are the average number of eggs a woman has throughout their lifetime:

egg graph

Studies have shown that as women turn 35, the rate of egg loss dramatically increases. The only way to determine how many eggs you individually have is by testing your ovarian reserve.

How does the test know how many eggs I have left?

Whilst there is still some debate amongst doctors about whether an ultrasound scan of your ovaries (AFC) or an Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) blood test is the most accurate way to check the size of your ovarian reserve, an AMH test is definitely the least invasive way of finding out.

Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) is produced by the follicles that contain your eggs and testing this, is a good indicator of your egg count. Unless you have a condition where you have excess follicles such as PCOS (the test can provide a diagnosis for this too). Unfortunately, there is no test for testing the quality of your eggs, however, there are tests that can detect chromosomal abnormalities in eggs fertilised by IVF.

Our at-home hormone and fertility test can measure AMH, which will provide insight into the egg count in your ovarian reserve. However, ovarian reserve alone isn’t enough to determine if you are fertile; many other aspects of your reproductive and general health need to be working in order to have a baby. This is why the Hertility at-home hormone and fertility tests do not measure AMH by itself, but a full and tailored panel of hormones depending on your menstrual cycles and symptoms.

Our tests will also be able to detect many other aspects of your reproductive health and general health, which can help determine your ability to have a baby.

Medical history

Could your medical history affect your fertility future?

There are many aspects of your health, such as your menstrual cycle function, biometrics, STI history and lifestyle, which could indicate or eventually cause an underlying health condition or hormonal imbalance that affects fertility.

Having a hormone and fertility test or speaking to a fertility advisor gives you the opportunity to either treat these issues so you’re at your optimal health when you try for a baby or adjust your timeline for having children accordingly.

Whilst it is possible to have a reproductive health condition and not have any issues with fertility, it’s important to acknowledge that it might become a barrier to getting pregnant and that you might need to plan ahead and take action before trying to conceive.

At Hertility, we’re building a science-backed eco-system of care around every woman. So whatever your results, we have answers and can provide quick referrals to additional blood tests, pelvic ultrasounds, nutrition consultations or fertility treatment if required.


The impact of your current lifestyle on your fertility

Research shows that the way you choose to live your life today could impact your chances of successfully conceiving in the future. Although the egg which gets ovulated is chosen during the first half of the month (the follicular phase of your menstrual cycle), the maturation and development process of this egg actually starts almost a year prior.

Find out how your lifestyle can affect your fertility.

Checking your partner

Checking your partner - it takes two

If you are in a heterosexual relationship, then it’s important to remember that understanding your partner’s sperm count is key in determining your future fertility as a couple. Men’s sperm can be tested by looking at the number and quality of sperm under the microscope which we can arrange for you. Whether it’s speaking with one of our Fertility Advisors or having us arrange an appointment at one of our clinics, we can help you both find answers.

What are the options available after your Hertility Test?

We know it can be scary to take that step to find out about your reproductive health. This is especially true if you’re not in a position to start a family yet. But the sooner you check in on your fertility, the sooner you can get peace of mind or take action.

Even if your Hertility fertility test does come back with a low ovarian reserve or a potential reproductive health condition, you have options:

Egg Freezing

If you want to preserve your fertility, you can go down the egg freezing route by freezing your eggs or embryos (with a partner or donor) at an IVF clinic; this process is known as cryopreservation. Egg and embryo freezing costs start from £4,000, depending on the IVF clinic (this excludes annual storage and treatment fees).

Currently, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) , which governs all procedures involving eggs and embryos in the UK, allows a maximum storage period of 55 years.. Hertility can provide end-to-end care by supporting you with fertility preservation at one of our HFEA-vetted partner IVF clinics if this is something you would like to go ahead with.

Speak to a fertility advisor

Booking a call with a fertility advisor can help you get clear on next steps. Our fertility experts can help you navigate all of the options available to you and give you a better understanding of how different treatments work. It’s worth it even to help calm your anxieties and give yourself a sense of ownership over your future.

Treatment journey

If your Hertility test leads you to be diagnosed with a condition that may affect your future fertility, we can also guide you through a management or treatment journey to improve your quality of life and maximise your chance of getting pregnant when you’re ready to start trying.

One size does not fit all, but some examples of ways we can help include:

  • Helping you and guiding you towards surgery if you have a condition that causes structural infertility (e.g. endometriosis or fibroids).

  • Advice and guidance on treatment you could reserve to resolve irregular ovulation (e.g. PCOS, an under active thyroid or hypothalamic amenorrhea)

  • Nutritional advice to optimise your preconception health.

  • Counselling support to help you navigate issues such as infertility or recurrent miscarriage.

Written by

Dr Tharni Vasavan, BSc (hons) MSc, PhD

Contributed to by

Bríd Ní Dhonnabháin BSc (hons) MSc,Ruby Relton BSc (hons) MSc,Zoya Ali BSc (hons) MSc

Medically reviewed by

Dr Benjamin Jones, MBChB BSc (Hons) MRCOG PhD

Published May 16th, 2022

Last medically reviewed January 10th, 2024


Here's what we'll cover

Planning your future family

Want kids someday?

What is ovarian reserve?

Could your medical history affect your fertility future?

The impact of your current lifestyle on your fertility

Checking your partner - it takes two

What are the options available after your Hertility Test?