We use antral follicle count testing to identify poor ovarian reserve and assess fertility
For couples dealing with infertility, Dr. Mark Rispler and Dr. Joshua J. Berger believe in evaluating all potential areas to unearth the underlying causes of infertility. Because infertility can impact both men and women, our Manhattan Beach fertility center expert usually recommends a full fertility assessment. Our female patients will provide a full medical history, have a baseline ultrasound and undergo blood testing to check hormone levels. Your doctor will perform antral follicle count testing during the ovulatory phase, the first part of your cycle.
Reviewing the connection between ovarian reserve and fertility
Although men continue to make sperm even as they age, a woman is born with all the eggs she will ever produce. At puberty, menstruation begins, and a woman’s body releases an egg each month as part of her menstrual cycle, which continues until menopause. Ovarian reserve refers to the remaining egg supply that could potentially lead to a healthy pregnancy. Age, chemotherapy, hormone imbalances and premature menopause can cause diminished ovarian reserve.
Antral follicle count is an indication of fertility
During ovulation, the ovaries release an egg for possible fertilization. Before that occurs, the follicles around the egg began to swell and can be identified via sonogram. A higher number of follicles indicates a reasonable number of remaining eggs and a greater level of fertility. Our team often uses antral follicle count in combination with other tests to assess ovarian reserve and potential fertility. We usually perform this test on Days 2 to 5 of a cycle.
Interpreting this female fertility test
When viewing the follicles on an ultrasound, the results can be subjective. Generally, an antral follicle count of fewer than 6 indicates low ovarian reserve. The optimal number of follicles depends on age, but a count of approximately 8-12 resting follicles signifies a good chance for a successful pregnancy. If the sonogram reveals a low count, your doctor will review the options and map out an individualized treatment strategy for you.
Don’t let the struggles of infertility hamper your dreams of parenthood. Our team will utilize advanced fertility testing, including antral follicle count, to provide targeted fertility treatment. Contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Day 2 or 3 FSH
For diagnostic purposes, we will conduct a Day 2 or 3 FSH test.
This simple blood test will measure your levels of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone – a hormone released from the pituitary gland in the brain that stimulates an egg follicle to grow each month as part of the menstrual cycle). Elevated blood levels of FSH indicate ovarian maturing, as greater amounts of the hormone are required for the ovary to recruit and stimulate an egg follicle.
A simple trans vaginal ultrasound is a safe and non-invasive test that will show many important aspects of the female pelvis such as ovarian maturity and egg reserves, uterus lining and abnormalities, evidence of scarring, fibroids, etc. The proper development of the follicle, which contains the egg, and the timing of its release is critical to the evaluation of infertility.