Dutch scientists are developing a blood test that would detect when a woman will go through menopause.
The test would help women make decisions about their lifestyle, such as the age she should have children.
The test measures levels of a single hormone called AMH that decreases when a woman becomes less fertile.
The developers said this blood test is cheaper – and simpler – than tests that measure markers in the blood and indicate a woman’s fertility by how many eggs are left in her ovaries. Such a test already exists.
Women can reach menopause as early as 40-years-old and as late as 60-years-old, but the average women reaches it around the age of 50. A woman’s fertility starts to decline around the age of 35.
“Increasingly, people are waiting until they are older than 30 before they have children,” said Dr. Jeroen van Disseldorp, who is developing the test. “Knowing when menopause is going to begin could play a major role when it comes to deciding when to start trying to have children.”
The blood test is expected to be available in about four to five years.