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Frequently asked questions

FAQ

Is this test for me?


Grip is for anyone with ovaries between 23 and 43 who wants to understand where they’re at in terms of fertility. Some people who test are years away from wanting kids, and some are actively trying to get pregnant. Our goal is to help you understand your personal situation based on the latest scientific understanding of fertility. We want you to be able to make better choices about your life and career, and help you plan. We are committed to building a community that supports women, whether you want kids or not.




I’m on birth control (e.g., pill / IUD / patch), can I still test?


Yes, but not everything. You can test AMH. We can tell you if you have a normal amount of eggs for your age, but we can't say anything about your ovulation. Your contraceptives suppress your ovulation, and so we can’t look at that. Issues with ovulation are one of the most common reasons for reduced fertility in women, and so it might be worth retesting the full panel if you ever stop taking birth control. We recommend to wait until you’ve had 2 ‘natural’ periods before you retest the full panel of 4 hormones.




I have had a miscarriage, can I take the test?


We are so sorry to hear this, we hope you're okay. This is way more common than we ever hear about, but it's still really rough. We'd recommend you to wait until you've had two natural menstruations, and then you can take the test. For expectation management: it's possible that your miscarriage was caused by a hormonal imbalance (which we'd pick up with the Grip test), but there's a bunch of other reasons for it, that we won't be able to tell you about.




Can I just ask my doctor for this test?


We wish. Doctors are (understandably) instructed to only deal with patients who are ill, and so healthy women wanting to do a blood test are usually not supported, let alone referred to a specialist.

We test the same hormones as a fertility specialist would after trying to get pregnant for a year. We use the same labs as the clinics do, and your tests are being reviewed by our in-house doctors. We partnered with Medical Diagnosis, a leading clinical laboratory in the UK, which processes about 5 million human samples yearly.




How accurate are the results from Grip? In what lab are my results analysed?


The lab we work with is ISO15189 certified, which is the highest possible medical certification in the UK. It guarantees clinical correctness of the analysis of your sample.

In addition, all our results are reviewed by our in house doctors. You can trust that your results are right, but we always encourage you to take your results to your own doctor if you want a second opinion on interpretation.




Is the test cheaper than doing it directly at the doctor?


As far as we know, GPs don't prescribe fertility blood testing. They will usually only forward you to a specialist after 12 months of trying to get pregnant. If you've got issues (think: an irregular period, or other symptoms, or you've been already trying to get pregnant for close to 12 months), then we recommend you to call your GP to see if you'd get free testing. Grip believes that you should be able to know when you want to know - it's your body after all.




I have tested my AMH in the past, should I do that again?


AMH declines over time, at a pretty consistent rate. If you had a normal AMH value before, then it's extremely likely that your ovarian reserve will stay consistent with your previous results. In our opinion, you do not need to retest. 1 in 100 women suffer from early ovarian failure, which would be the only reason to retest AMH.

We do encourage women to check their general fertility every year. Egg count has become the synonime for 'fertility health', but if you've read our science page, then you know that egg count is only responsible for a tiny amount of the subfertility cases.




Can I purchase Grip everywhere?


We are currently only available in the UK and the Netherlands.




I don't want to prick myself. Can I get my blood drawn at a lab clinic?


Usually you can, but due to COVID we've stopped offering this option for now. We don't want to put anyone at additional risk. If you struggle with pricking yourself, just text us and we'll set up a videochat to walk you through the process. You've got this!




Is it safe to test during coronavirus?


Yes. Now more than ever it's become clear why testing from home is such a big win. You can keep track of your fertility and plan, even in these uncertain times. You get your test delivered in the post, you take your own sample, put it in the mailbox, and the machines in the lab will handle your blood. We've been in close contact with our labs, and they are operating as usual.




What hormones do you test? What is the difference between the two tests?


We test 4 things: LH, AMH, TSH, and testosterone. These hormones are a great first screening of the most common reasons why women might be less fertile. We look at your ovulation, if you are a risk of early menopause, if your thyroid works well, and at your egg count.

If you are on hormonal birth control, we test AMH only. We look at your tubes and your egg count. The other hormones get suppressed by your contraceptives.




What happens if my results show something is wrong?


We will call you as soon as we can, and our in house doctor will do a review session with you to explain what the numbers mean. We get that diagnosis is just the first step. If you want, we'll introduce you to a group of women with similar results, and a doctor, and we'll make a custom plan that includes diet, supplementation, and stress reduction. We always recommend you to take the results to your GP to discuss how they can help, too. Most hormone imbalances are easy to fix, as long as they get diagnosed in time.




Can I share my results with my doctor?


Absolutely! We always encourage people to talk to their doctor after getting their results. We put the raw data from the lab as an appendix to your report, and we're happy to give you some conversation starters. Being proactive rather than reactive about your fertility is a great thing.




How painful is it to prick yourself?


We won't lie - pricking our own finger isn't our favorite experience. You need between 7 and 10 drops of blood to get enough to do the analysis. Most customers take between 5 and 10 minutes to fill the tube, but we've heard stories of people taking 30 minutes. It doesn't actually hurt very much, but having to prick yourself is a bit scary for some people.

Preparation is key - if you make sure your circulation is high and you have warm hands, then you'll be done before you know it. Think of the result!




I already have a PCOS diagnosis, is it useful to take the Grip test?


In that case, we can only test your thyroid function. The Grip test investigates four possible fertility issues: diminished ovarian reserve (with AMH), your risk of PCOS (with LH and testosterone), your thyroid function (with TSH) and your risk of early menopause (AMH, LH). Unfortunately, the test to investigate your ovarian reserve, as well as the hormones involved in PCOS are either unreliable or unnecessary if you already have a PCOS diagnosis. Obviously, you do not have to get tested for PCOS again, but your AMH test is unreliable in women with PCOS so we can’t say anything about your ovarian reserve. The small follicles that are so typical for PCOS, also produce your AMH. Lots of women with PCOS will have high AMH values for their age range. Normally, we would say that lots of follicles = high AMH = high ovarian reserve, but because of the PCOS we can’t say for sure if the AMH truly reflects your ovarian reserve due to the many PCOS follicles. Conclusion: we can test your thyroid function, but it’s up to you if it’s worth pricking yourself for this. If you're in this situation, just contact us and we'll create a custom testing plan for you.




Can I use the Grip test to monitor my (already diagnosed) PCOS?


No, we don’t recommend this. We do understand that you’d love to see how e.g. lifestyle changes impact on your hormones, but we don’t recommend the Grip test for tracking this. How successful your PCOS treatment is, is mainly based on the regularity of your cycle and your metabolic health, not on the absolute values of testosterone. We recommend that your visit your GP once a year and have your glucose, insulin and blood pressure checked instead.




When should I take the test if my cycle is irregular?


If you do not use hormonal contraception, you have to test on day 3 of your cycle: this is the third day of your menstruation. The first day is the day with "full flow" - not the first day of spotting. A few of the hormones that the test will look at fluctuate during your cycle. It is therefore important to know exactly where in your cycle you are when you draw your blood. The reference values we use to compare your values to are from research on day 3, which is why you unfortunately cannot prick on a different day.
If you use hormonal contraception, you can test on any day.

Even when your cycle is irregular, it is important to take the test on day 3 of your cycle. This can mean that you have to wait longer to take the test, but to make the test as reliable as possible, it is important to prick on day 3.
It will definitely be worth the wait to get results as accurate as possible!




My menstruation only lasts 2 days, should I still test on day 3?


If your menstruation (so the actual bleeding) only lasts two days, then you should still do the test on day 3. Do give us a shout if your cycle in total is shorter than 23 days, as it might be wise to tests earlier.




What if I get pregnant before I was able to do the test?


The test kit is valid for 2 years. You can do one of the following, whichever you prefer: 1. We will give you a full refund and you can throw out the kit 2. Keep the kit as it's valid for 2 years 3. Give it to a friend and just connect us via email. Just shoot us a message or an email and we’ll fix it for you!




Do I need to stay home for the delivery of my kit?


No! Your kit fits through the mail box. Moreover, the test cannot be recognized as a test - it is a plain brown box and since it fits through the mail box, it will probably not end up with your neighbours ;)




How long do I have to wait to take the test after I've stopped taking hormonal birth control?


We advise you to prick during your third period after you've stopped taking birth control, so about 3 months later. This way you have an idea of how regular your cycle is, but even if your cycle is irregular, you can do the Grip test. Don't worry if it takes a while for your menstruation to return after you've stopped taking birth control - it might take up to 6 months!

You can then order the full test.
If you use hormonal birth control, please order this test.




How do the Grip tests differ from those in the hospital?


We use the same 'assays' (which is a technical term for lab analyses) and the same lab as most NHS hospitals. Your results are compared to the assay reference values the lab uses. In principle, the tests are the same as those offered in the hospital.




Can I save the test and do it later or do I have to use it right away?


You can save the test! It lasts max. 2 years.