Monday, June 04, 2007

At-home fertility test gives new meaning to the phrase, "Asking for trouble."

Let me tell you why Fertell, the new at-home fertility screening test, is great technology, but a really bad idea.

First off, I'm all for anything that reminds people that fertility is not just the woman's issue. 40% of the time, the problem's the guy's (as this article on Fertell in the New York Times reminds us). So if Fertell gets both partners taking responsibility early on for getting checked out, that's goodness.

As the veteran of more negative home pregnancy tests than I care to count, I'm just worried about what happens when couples get less-than-positive results from this test. There's going to be panic. Crying. Finger-pointing. More crying. All before that first call to the doctor is even made. Believe me, it's much better to get the results verbally from a gentle medical professional who can actually explain your results. (The Internet doesn't have great bedside manner.)

Or, Fertell could give you confusing results. I would have passed the female Fertell test with flying colors (my low FSH level almost puts me in the category of "medical freak"), but I'm over 40, so no way should I wait to consult my friendly medical professional.

I'm not saying don't buy Fertell if you have an extra $100 lying around. Just have lots of tissues on hand. And don't procrastinate if you think there's a problem.

Because believe me, when people call infertility a "journey," they're being kind. "Death march" is more like it.

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