A woman’s fertility usually declines with age. As they get older, they have fewer eggs, the quality of the eggs starts falling, and eggs tend to have more chromosomal abnormalities than usual. Due to all these factors, older women have a much lower pregnancy rate and a higher rate of miscarriage.
The exact age when a woman cannot conceive any longer varies from one woman to the other. In some cases, this may occur at a younger age than expected. Many women face problems getting pregnant after the age of 35 years. A number of tests are available to check a woman's fertility potential, also known as ovarian reserve.
About Ovarian Reserve Testing
Ovarian reserve, commonly known as egg count, is typically done in the form of Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH), antral follicle count, and a blood test. AMH is a protein hormone produced in ovarian follicle cells. The level of one’s AMH estimates the number of follicles in the ovaries. Antral follicle count is performed using ultrasound. The procedure involves visualising the ovaries and counting the ‘activated’ follicles. This number is then used to estimate the total ovarian reserve.
The oldest method of determining one’s ovarian reserve is with the help of blood tests, including estradiol, inhibit, and FSH.
Preparing for Ovarian Reserve Testing
The patient does not need to make special preparations for ovarian reserve testing. Estradiol, antral follicle count, and FSH tests are usually done on day 2 to day five over a woman’s menstrual cycle. AMH test, on the other hand, can be done on any day of the cycle.
What to Expect During Ovarian Reserve Testing?
Ovarian reserving testing is a simple blood test that feels the same as any other. The blood sample is preferably taken on day 3 of a woman’s menstrual cycle. However, samples taken on day two and day 4 are also acceptable. Besides this, your doctor may also decide to do an ultrasound test to check the egg count.
Possible Results of Ovarian Reserve Testing
Ovarian reserve tests help predict the body’s response to possible fertility treatment. They help determine how likely it is for the patient to get pregnant. Abnormal results for these tests suggest a declination of fertility potential. However, they cannot wholly predict whether one will conceive or not. Some younger women who get average test results also face problems getting pregnant. The results may also differ with each cycle.
The possibility of the patient getting pregnant primarily depends on the quality of her eggs. Women older than 35 with abnormal test results have a much lower chance of getting pregnant. In such cases, the patient can choose to go for donor eggs.
Antral follicle count and AMH testing can also indicate potential reproductive issues, including PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). Women with high ovarian reserves are more likely to respond positively to hormone medications for fertility treatments.
When Should You See Your Doctor?
You must consult your doctor in the following situations:
- Before undergoing any evaluation or treatment for your infertility
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- When planning ART ovarian stimulation and dosing
- Familial history of premature ovarian failure or early menopause
- For fertility preservation before gonadotoxic treatment
- Preparing for ovarian surgery
- Detection of FMR1 or BRCA-1 premutation
Ovarian reserve testing is a great way to gain insight into a woman’s fertility. In most cases, doctors recommend egg count testing for women over 35 who have not yet gotten pregnant. It is also commonly recommended for women with PCO and people planning to undergo egg freezing and IVF. Standard tests such as AFC, AMH, and estradiol are used for this. If you need ovarian reserve testing, contact us for appropriate guidance.
Request an appointment at
Apollo Fertility, Kondapur, Hyderabad
Call 1860 500 4424 to book an appointment
Some women consider vaginal ultrasound uncomfortable. However, it is usually not painful.
Numbers between 0.7 and 5 are considered normal regarding ovarian reserve testing. Levels below 0.7 show that the ovarian reserve is depleting.
Common symptoms that may suggest a diminishing ovarian reserve include problems getting pregnant, heavy menstrual flow, absent or late periods, shorter menstrual cycles, and recurrent miscarriage.
A low ovarian reserve may sound scary, but it does not mean that you are completely infertile. If you are under 35 years of age and ovulating regularly, you still have the same chances of getting pregnant as someone with normal results in ovarian reserve testing.
Home kits are available but they are less accurate than blood tests performed at the physician's office. Also, home test only provides result in the form of normal/abnormal rating; therefore it is difficult to get a complete picture of your ovarian reserve.