Friday, April 30, 2010

Product Review: First Response Fertility Test

I saw the commercial for First Response Fertility Tests probably close to a year ago now and even though I was completely annoyed at how the commercials seemed to associate infertility with age, the POAS-aholic in me couldn't resist.  So when I started my first cycle after Henry this past week, I made a trip to Wa.lmart (who has the best price at 20 bucks for 2, also there is a coupon for 2 bucks off on the FR website) to purchase the test.  The night before cycle day 3, I set out the box in front of the toilet with my pee cup (yes I still have a special pee cup in my bathroom cabinet) so that I wouldn't forget since the test instructions say that you have to use first morning urine on cycle day 3 (and no telling how long it will take for me to get another cycle since my cycles are forever long!!).  Woke up on cycle day 3 to my old pee cup friend and took the test, but I wasn't too nervous waiting for the results since I already knew that I have an elevated fsh (around 10) for my age.  According to the directions, after a wait time of 30 minutes if the line is lighter than the control line or not there at all, then you have a "normal" fsh.  Well my line was not as dark as the control line and that left me a little confused.  After all, it has been almost two years since I had my fsh tested so my egg supply couldn't have gotten better over the years.  I found myself staring at the lines over and over just like I previously stared at opks and pregnancy tests, and there was lots of googling and even calling the company.  Through my google search, I found that most fsh urine tests have a sensitivity of 25 mIU/ml.  Based on what I've read about fsh in the past, 25 is basically game over for using your own eggs because most REs won't try with those numbers.  Since I was told by several customer representatives that the sensitivity of their fertility test was "proprietary information" (although they have no problem publishing the sensitivity of their pregnancy tests and opks), I can't help but assume that it is the same sensitivity as other fsh urine tests used in medical offices (think the urine tests are typically just used to screen for menopause).  I have a huge problem with this because even though some women with an extremely high fsh level might take the test and get a positive and immediately go to a dr to get tested.  Other women might see that their line was kinda dark but not dark enough and assume that their egg supply or quality has nothing to do with their fertility problems.  This helpful link explains fsh and a chart for typical lab values and corresponding success with fertility treatments.  Take a look at a fsh of 15 for instance with less of a response to stimulation and a lower embryo quality...if the sensitivity of the FR test is what I assume (and again no way to know since the company won't say), a woman with a 15 fsh would have tested negative.  The really annoying customer service rep guy that I talked to kept saying that my results meant that I had an "adequate ovarian reserve."  I really wanted to start laughing at him when he tried to explain fsh to me, but I decided to give the poor guy a break.  


So in my opinion should you buy this test and try it?  Not unless you feel like paying twenty bucks to pee on a stick that isn't going to give you a definitive answer (unless your fsh is sky high...and not sure you would want to find out that from peeing on a stick).  My advice...get your RE or your GYN to run your cycle day 3 FSH number and know the exact number.


And remember...be your own advocate!


Okay here is a pic of my stick taken from my cell phone so it is poor quality and the line looked darker in person.
  

10 comments:

Michelle said...

That's really awful that they wouldn't tell you the level. Even if it's high, giving consumers an honest and true answer only seems fair!!!!

Rebekah said...

I was really upset the first time I saw a commercial for this product. I mean, seriously? And, I just got my period for the first time since having Delilah this past week. How odd! Did you notice any change in your milk supply when you started?

Bristelle said...

Wow! I used the ovulation test that has a smiley face, it was recommended to me by my OB/GYN. I'm pretty sure it's also a First Response product, but it may be something else. It was great, no trying to figure out lines and what the shades meant, just a smiley face when the best time was and an empty circle when it wasn't close to ovulation. It also wasn't terribly expensive, something like $26 for 7 days worth of tests.

The Activity Mom said...

Hi!
Thanks for stopping by my blog! Your question about how much time do I spend on a structured learning activity vs. ind. play....I'd say at 12ish months when I started some structured activities it was 5 minutes at the most before he had moved on to something else. I would try here and there to catch his attention with something and go from there, otherwise we just played.
Around 2 years old, I'd say he could sit and play a game with me for around 10 minutes and at 3 years old we are still at 20 minutes or less unless he is reall into it. At 2-3 I'd try a structured activity once a day (not everyday, just when it fit into my schedule) and once we had done the activity enough together I would sit them out to let him play on his own with them.
If you haven't seen the post, "Where should I start" the link is on my sidebar!
Hopefully I answered your question (I tend to babble). If you need any ideas or have any other questions, let me know.

The Activity Mom said...

Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog and for the update!

I LOVE the box and cord idea! I'd love to post it, if you feel comfortable sending me a picture of it. That is so creative.

Also, that is so encouraging about the sign language. Awesome! N is 4 months and I need to start now.

Oh another idea with the pringles can when he gets bored chasing it, cut a slit in the lid and have him put in those craft sticks that look like popsicle sticks.

Jackie said...

Interesting review - thanks for sharing. I was curious about this test, because my FSH was 12.8 when I finally conceived my DS on my 7th fresh IVF -- which was two and a half years ago -- so I'm thinking it's around 15 nowadays, which is basically game over. I thought I'd try out this test before even bothering to call my RE again, just to see if it's even worth thinking about baby #2, just to get a ballpark idea. Guess not. Sounds like this test would tell me that my FSH of 15 is just ducky! How awful and misleading for many women who will take this test and then waste even more time before calling their doctors for help.

Anonymous said...

I purchased this test after a few months of ttc and no success. The box contains to tests. I did them both exactly the way the instructions say and both months I received a result of elevated. I had my blood work done on the the second month of taking the test and my FSH was at a 6. I then had my blood work done again and the FSH was at a 7. The test did not work at all for me and just made me freak out more than anything else. It was a complete waste of money if you ask me. If you are concerned about your FSH just get blood work done. It is much more accurate. I do NOT recommend this test at all.

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santamonicafertilityLA said...

If you think that fertility tests are only intended for women who are in their forties, then you are terribly wrong. In fact, studies of today disclosed that the age bracket of women who take such fertility tests have become lower than expected.

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