A ground-breaking new at-home test has been developed by UK scientists to help couples struggling to conceive to improve their chances of having a baby.
The test, developed by preventative health company Cortigenix, will enable millions of people to help boost their chance of fertility by making simple changes to their lives.
Cortigenix’s Cortisol Over Time (COT) test works by using just a few strands of hair to record levels of the ‘lifestyle hormone’ cortisol over a three-month period.
It provides those tested with a dashboard which they can then use to track how stress, diet, exercise, sleep patterns and relaxation techniques may be impacting their fertility.
Leading fertility expert, Professor Simon Fishel, Founder of the CARE Fertility Group, who was part of the original team that pioneered IVF treatment, says the test is a breakthrough for women and men wanting to improve their fertility.
“We know that lifestyle is so important – not just for helping to improve and maintain overall health – but it plays a crucial role in reproductive function.
“The uniqueness of the Cortigenix COT test is it can track the body’s cortisol levels over several months – which is an extremely accurate and reliable way of determining if a combination of lifestyle factors may be affecting a person’s overall health and chances of a successful conception.”
Professor Kavita Vedhara, Professor of Health Psychology at the University of Nottingham said: “Cortisol is really important for regulating the normal functioning of every cell and system in our body including processes involved in reproductive function.
“Traditional cortisol tests using blood, saliva or urine have only been able to give a snapshot of cortisol levels at a particular moment in time; they are unable to provide an accurate and reliable assessment of the impact of long-term cortisol on fertility and health.
“The Cortigenix COT test is an exciting innovation because it allows us to easily and accurately measure levels of the hormone over several months, without the need for repeated blood, saliva or urine samples.”
Cortigenix users provide a hair sample from home and post it back to a specialised laboratory where it is analysed, and the information on cortisol levels accessed through a personalised portal where users can track their results.
Dr Adam Massey, CEO of Cortigenix said: “With so much information out there it can be difficult for men and women to know where to start when wanting to improve their fertility. By assessing your main ‘lifestyle hormone’ over 84 days our unique COT test provides a cumulative assessment of how your lifestyle may be affecting your fertility and health.
“Knowing how your lifestyle may be affecting you is the first step towards making simple lifestyle changes that will help you improve your fertility and health.
“With just a few strands of hair from your head, we can now track how your lifestyle may be affecting your inner health longitudinally over 84 days – the equivalent of needing over 200 blood or saliva cortisol tests.
“It’s a really easy, completely painless and proactive way for people wanting to improve their chances of fertility, planning to undergo fertility treatment or planning a pregnancy to see how their lifestyle may be impacting their fertility health.”
Further information on the new test can be found at: www.cortigenix.com