21:46 9th February 2016 | Female Fertility
Ovarian reserve is a term that is used to determine the capacity of the ovary to provide egg cells that are not only capable of fertilisation but are more likely to result in a healthy and successful pregnancy. A woman’s ability to become pregnant decreases as she gets older because she has fewer eggs. The quality of her eggs also decreases and they are more likely to have abnormalities. This means that older women have lower pregnancy and higher miscarriage rates than their younger counterparts. The exact age that women can no longer conceive varies from one individual to another but there are several tests that can indicate a woman’s fertility potential.
FSH, Estradiol,and AMH. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and estradiol are checked at the beginning of the menstrual cycle to see how well the ovaries and the pituitary gland are working together. Antimüllerianhormone(AMH). AMH is produced in small ovarian follicles. Research shows that the size of the pool of growing follicles is heavily influenced by the size of the pool of remaining primordial follicles. Thus AMH blood levels are undertaken to reflect the size of the ovarian reserve.
Clomiphene Citrate Challenge Test. This involves the administration of clomiphene citrate to see how the ovaries respond. Blood levels of FSH and estradiol are measured before and FSH is measured after clomiphene citrate is taken. Antral follicle count. This is a trans-vaginal ultrasound to count the number of small follicles in the ovary. These follicles, called antral follicles, are where the eggs develop. The number of antral follicles can tell us how many eggs are available and what the woman’s response is to gonadotropin medicines.
These tests predict a woman’s response to fertility treatment and how likely she is to become pregnant compared to other women of the same age. Abnormal ovarian reserve test results suggest that fertility potential has declined but they do not tell us who will or who will not conceive. Results may vary from cycle to cycle but one abnormal test usually shows that fertility potential has decreased.
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