Thursday, October 1, 2009

Peeing on Sticks

Ok, I'll be the first to admit - I like peeing on sticks. I estimate that I've probably peed on approximately 100 pregnancy tests in my lifetime between the 20 collective months I've spent trying to get pregnant and my normal state of pregnancy paranoia when I'm not trying to get pregnant. When I was trying to conceive, I'd buy the dip strip tests in bulk. Some cycles, I'd test crazy early like 7 days past ovulation (when the egg usually is just starting to think about implanting), knowing full well that the likelihood of a line staring back at me to be nil. When I did get a positive test, I'd test daily (er...multiple times daily) for at least the first week, just to make sure it was real!

But whatever. There is just something about the anticipation! The feeling like you can't breathe, and your hands shaking, breaking out in a sweat, and trying to think of something, anything!, else to pass the time, but not being able to think about anything else at all! Now, I wouldn't call it fun, but its definitely exciting. I'll probably pee on another 100 sticks in my lifetime too.

But, here is one stick I'm not so sure we should be patronizing...

No, your eyes do not deceive you. First Response now purports to have a pee stick that will actually tell you if you are fertile or not. Seriously?? Supposedly, it detects the level of Follicle Stimulating Horomone (FSH) present in your urine on day 3 of your cycle. If the level of FSH is high, that may be an indication that your reserve of eggs is low in quantity or quality. Apparently, the darker the line, the higher your FSH levels. Again, seriously?? How is that for scientific?

In my opinion, there are a multitude of problems with this product. First off, low ovarian reserve doesn't necessarily mean you are infertile. I have known several women who have gotten pregnant on their own despite having low ovarian reserve. I can just envision these poor women staring at the dark lines on this test and sobbing their eyes out at the belief that their chances of conceiving are gone - based on a home test!

Second, there are many other conditions that can cause infertility, so a negative test may give women a false sense of confidence, raising their hopes when they may have other issues that need medical attention. Or perhaps delay a woman from seeing advice if she has difficulty conceiving.

This is something a woman should find out from her doctor. A medical professional equipped to scientifically interpret the precise results of an FSH test, who will also run a multitude of other tests as well, and explain to the woman exactly what this means. This is not a situation where self help is a good idea.

Oh, and I should mention that a 2-pack is approximately $25.00. Anything to make a buck, right??


  1. The beginning of that post, (which btw was really well done), describes me perfectly at this time in my life. I have cornered the market on pregancy tests right now...all so far for nothing, but that anticipation...oh geeze, nothing beats it!! :)