Aggregated News

HAYLIE MARCHANT, 25, of Chicago, looks away as she has her blood drawn by Molly Murphy at Fertility Centers of Illinois. Marchant is there for a blood test to find out her 'ovarian reserve' to determine how many eggs she has. (NANCY STONE, MCT / April 23, 2008)

A new medical test for women who want to check their biological clocks is debuting in Chicago amid concerns about its usefulness and enormous interest in the consequences of delayed childbearing.

Called Plan Ahead, it's the first fertility test that purports to measure a woman's "ovarian reserve" - how many good eggs she has available for conception.

In a controversial move, the $350 test will be marketed to women who are contemplating when to have children and who want to recognize any potential biological limitations.

Dr. Benjamin Leader, chief medical officer for the company marketing the test, Repromedix, compares the test to checking the gas gauge on a car to see how much is left in the tank.

But some fertility experts worry that the sales pitch will capitalize on women's anxieties and note that the test's reliability has not been clearly established.

"Given the state of the science, I think it's premature to offer this test," said Dr. Ralph Kazer, chief of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.

"Will this tell a woman will...