This DNA Test Can Identify Fertility Issues

Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
While DNA tests like 23andMe and's AncestryDNA come with disclaimers that they're more for entertainment than any real information, a startup is offering a DNA test with some information that women can actually use. Celmatix, which bills itself as the "world’s first comprehensive genetic screen for reproductive health," has developed Fertilome, a DNA-based fertility test that goes beyond telling you where your great-great-grandpa is from. "We realized there were dozens of risk-factor genes not being used widely," Celmatix founder Piraye Beim told TechCrunch. Where standard at-home DNA tests look at your ancestry and likelihood of carrying inherited traits (such as sickle-cell anemia and genetic hearing loss), Fertilome is designed to examine women's health more closely. The test takes a deep dive into "49 variants in 32 different genes" that focus on reproductive health and fertility. For example, the test can help women plot a course of action based on specific fertility goals as well as look at inherited disorders, like endometriosis or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Celmatix recommends Fertilome for women who plan on freezing their eggs or plan on having children after 35. The test can also tell women which forms of birth control are best for them. “Women can now make potentially life-defining decisions about how to proactively plan for the family they want to build and be more efficient in overcoming fertility difficulties they are experiencing using better, more personal, information than age," Beim said. Usually, this sort of data comes after a woman has a child and some moms might not even be given the option to test an embryo for genetic abnormalities. Beim hopes that Fertilome offers women a new way to plan their futures, whether it involves children or not. Unlike the other tests, you can't just order up Fertilome from your couch. You'll have to get one from a doctor. To find one in your area that can administer it, check out the Celmatix's website.

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