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Ovarian Reserve Testing

Ovarian reserve testing helps our doctors assess a woman’s fertility

Female patients at our Indianapolis fertility center typically undergo ovarian reserve testing, as it helps our doctors understand the woman’s fertility. This testing provides information about certain fertility hormones and a woman’s antral follicle count. Counting a woman’s antral follicles, or small, unstimulated eggs, allows us to estimate how many eggs she still has in her ovaries. This information can help the patient’s fertility specialist develop a treatment plan.

How we perform ovarian reserve testing

Ovarian reserve testing involves bloodwork to analyze certain reproductive hormones and an ultrasound to determine her antral follicle count. These tests can provide insight into a patient’s fertility.

Bloodwork. On the third day of a woman’s menstrual cycle, she will undergo bloodwork to analyze her levels of hormones like estradiol and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Estradiol levels can help the doctor understand how the woman might respond to fertility medications, while the FSH level provides information about the woman’s ovarian function and egg quality. We will also check the patient’s anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) level, which can provide more information about her ovarian reserve (egg supply).

Ultrasound. In addition to bloodwork, the woman will undergo a transvaginal ultrasound on day three of her menstrual cycle. This ultrasound helps the fertility specialist estimate how many antral follicles a woman has. A high follicle count often means a woman has good fertility potential.

After ovarian reserve testing, a doctor at our Indianapolis fertility center reviews the results. From there, he or she can determine whether the woman needs more extensive testing. However, in some cases, the doctor can recommend a treatment plan after just this basic testing.

What happens if a woman has a low antral follicle count?

When a woman has the ultrasound, we hope to see eight or more antral follicles. If the count is lower, there are various ways we can help her take the next step.

Low antral follicle count. If the ultrasound reveals three to six follicles, the fertility specialist may recommend retesting in about a month to see if the next count is higher, as it can fluctuate from month to month. If the count does not increase, the doctor might prescribe higher doses of ovarian stimulation medications during certain fertility treatments.

Very low antral follicle count. When the ultrasound reveals an extremely low follicle count, the doctor might recommend donor eggs.

Regardless of what testing reveals, there are a variety of ways the team at our Indianapolis fertility center can help women fulfill their dream of motherhood. We support women each step of the way, helping to ensure they receive high-quality care. Contact us for more information about our fertility services.

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