Ovarian reserve testing is a strong predictor of response to fertility treatment. However, it does not predict the chances of pregnancy on your own.
Eggs are created in the ovaries before birth and new eggs are no longer created by the time a baby is born. As women age, the total number of eggs created declines. Both age and egg count are strong predictors of fertility treatment success.
Ovarian reserve testing uses a combination of blood tests: FSH, Estradiol, and Anti-müllerian Hormone (AMH); and vaginal ultrasound (antral follicle count or AFC) to help evaluate the number of eggs that remain. The testing is reflective of oocyte (egg) quantity, not quality, which declines with age.
Vaginal ultrasound is used to count the egg-releasing follicles which help predict response to fertility medication.
The blood tests typically check the levels of hormones including:
- Anti-müllerian hormone (AMH) – This hormone is secreted by each of the antral follicles and is reflective of the residual ovarian reserve.
- Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)This is the signal from the brain to the ovaries that controls follicle development and egg production.
- Estradiol – This is a form of estrogen that is the main reproductive hormone produced by the ovaries.
How do I prepare for ovarian reserve testing?
No special preparation is required. The FSH, Estradiol, and antral follicle count are typically done between days two and five of your menstrual cycle. AMH can be checked on any day of your cycle.
What happens during ovarian reserve testing?
You will have a vaginal ultrasound and a routine blood test in our clinic. This appointment takes under an hour.
What can I expect after ovarian reserve testing?
Results are typically available within one week. Ovarian testing does not cause any after effects.