01.11.17

Understanding your ovarian reserve

Ovarian reserve is the term used to describe how many eggs are left in a woman's ovaries. There are a few tests which can be carried out to determine what a woman's ovarian reserve is; here we describe some of the most common ones...

Understanding your ovarian reserve

AMH


Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) is a hormone produced by the developing follicles in a woman's ovaries. Measuring AMH levels gives an indication of a woman's egg reserve (how many eggs are left in the ovaries). High AMH levels indicate that there are sufficient developing follicles in the ovaries, whereas low levels suggest egg reserves are low.

AMH can be measured via a blood test at any time in the menstrual cycle.

AMH naturally decreases with age as the ovarian reserve is depleted. AMH levels are considered ‘satisfactory’ if they are above 21.98 pmol/l, although age and other circumstances have to be taken into account in order to make the most accurate assessment. Don’t worry if your AMH levels are below this; at abc ivf we treat women with AMH levels as low as 12 pmol/l.

FSH


Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is a hormone release by the brain's 
pituitary gland with the aim to stimulate the growth and development of follicles within the ovaries. 

Developing follicles release oestrogen which inhibits the release of FSH, indicating that the ovary now has enough follicles. Therefore when FSH levels are high, it indicates that there aren't enough developing follicles in the ovaries and the brain is sending signals to grow and develop more. This is why women with a diminished egg reserve will have high FSH levels and those with good egg reserves have low FSH levels.

FSH used to be the most common blood test used to assess ovarian reserve, however, due to the fact that levels can vary from month to month, we now prefer to test AMH results for a more accurate insight into ovarian reserve.

AFC


Antral Follicle Count (AFC) is the number of developing follicles within both ovaries. The AFC can be monitored using a Pelvic Assessment Scan.

BMI


Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. You can check your BMI for free by 
clicking here.

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