Ovarian Reserve Testing
Ovarian Reserve Testing in Chicago, IL
The fertility journey is intimidating enough without worrying about ovarian reserve testing. The good news is that the Reproductive Medicine Institute is here to hold your hand and explain testing in detail to ease your fears. Ovarian reserve tests are used to determine if you have a decreased ovarian reserve. Many women with a lower number of reserves risk a poor response to fertility treatments. When the eggs in the ovaries are working consistently, one egg is selected to grow and develop each month. During ovulation, the egg is released and hopes to meet a sperm for fertilization. If ovulation is irregular or the egg is not released, fertilization does not take place. Ovarian reserve testing allows us to measure a woman’s fertility. Extreme care is taken with these tests because no test can tell us if fertilization will be 100% successful.
Ovarian Reserve Testing Criteria
The most common tests to evaluate the ovarian reserve are baseline FSH, AMH, and antral follicle count. The criteria for these tests include:
- Age above 35
- History of Infertility
- History of having undergone previous ovarian Surgery (Removal of a cyst or surgery for endometriosis)
- History of smoking
- History of exposure to Chemotherapy or Pelvic Radiation
- Family history of early menopause
Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) Testing
Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) testing starts on the first day of your menstrual cycle. You should expect to return to the office on cycle days two to four for a blood draw. The pituitary gland and releases FSH to recruit ovarian follicles. As the follicles mature, they release the female sex hormone, estradiol. If a woman’s ovaries contain a healthy number of follicles, the FSH level when measured between cycle days two to four, is generally 10-20 IU/L, and corresponding estradiol levels are <50 pg/mL. Elevated FSH and estradiol levels in the early follicular phase can signify decreased ovarian reserve and a high risk for inadequate response to fertility treatment. While we can manipulate the FSH levels with estrogen, we cannot place more eggs in the ovaries to fix the core issues.
Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) Testing
Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) is a blood test that can be drawn at any time during the menstrual cycle and can even be reliable while on birth control pills. AMH is produced by the small follicles within the ovaries and is one of the best measures available today to determine ovarian reserve. Each follicle in the ovaries contains one egg. If you have multiple follicles, you’ll have multiple eggs. AMH levels can give your medical team an idea of how many eggs are in the ovaries. It is the only test that can be used to compare your reserve to what would be expected for your age. As such, interpretation of AMH should be made with caution, with normal values ranging from 1 – 4 ng/mL.
Antral Follicle Count (AFC) Testing
Antral follicle count (AFC) is performed during a transvaginal ultrasound on cycle days two to four to count the number of small resting follicles in the ovaries. A normal AFC is 10-20. A low AFC (<10) can signify decreased ovarian reserve and predict a poor response to fertility treatment. In contrast, a high AFC (>20) can signify polycystic ovaries and an increased risk for over-response to fertility treatment. AFC is a quick and easy test that predicts how a person may respond to fertility drugs.
Contact Reproductive Medicine Institute in Chicago
You can trust our team at Reproductive Medicine Institute (RMI). Our committed fertility specialists and physicians are dedicated to putting your mind at ease and delivering science to make miracles happen. We want you to feel safe and secure when you walk through our doors. We’ll provide the highest level of care during your ovarian reserve testing. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.