OVARIAN RESERVE TESTING
Evaluating your ovarian reserve might reveal information about your ability to become pregnant.
According to studies, a woman’s age significantly affects her capacity to conceive. Nevertheless, because every individual is different, two women of the same age could have varying degrees of fertility. Our medical team at Alps hospitals employ ovarian reserve testing, as a result, to assist shed light on a woman’s capacity for reproduction.
Ovarian reserve refers to the quantity of eggs. Because of this, our experts can estimate how many eggs they would be capable of extracting from your ovaries using this kind of fertility testing. Your doctor can then go through your chances of getting pregnant and design a personalized fertility treatment program to increase your chances of success.
Who can benefit from this type of fertility testing?
- Ovarian reserve testing is recommended for women over 35 who have not conceived after six months of attempting pregnancy.
- This organization also recommends it for women who have received cancer treatment.
- This type of fertility testing is also appropriate for women who are using fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF) to help them conceive.
- Women pursuing egg freezing should also consider having this testing. This type of testing can help us to predict how the patient’s ovaries will respond to the fertility medications for egg freezing.
Any woman who has plans for a future pregnancy can take matters into her own hands and have tests for ovarian reserve assessment, especially if she is affected by any of the factors that put her at risk of premature depletion. A comprehensive panel, as informative as possible, includes blood tests for certain hormones and an ultrasound examination with a specialist in reproductive medicine:
FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone)
It is tested on the second or third day of a woman’s monthly period and provides important information about the state of the ovarian reserve. This is a hormone that is produced by the pituitary gland, tasked with “waking up” the follicles in the ovary each month for a mature ovum to develop. As we age and the ovarian reserve deteriorates, the follicles need an increasingly high concentrations of FSH to develop. FSH values may vary from month to month, but while high levels measured even once are an alarm signal of diminished ovarian reserve, low values do not always guarantee a good state of ovarian reserve. To properly interpret FSH values, it is usually tested at the same time as two other hormones, LH (Luteinizing Hormone) and E2 (Estradiol).
AMH (Ante mullerian Hormone)
Produced by the granulosa cells of the early developing antral follicles. The hormone is measured on any day of a woman’s menstrual cycle and indicates the number of egg cells remaining. Low AMH levels indicate a diminished or depleted ovarian reserve. It is released by the follicle-preparation accessory cells, and its levels drop in direct proportion to the decline of future egg cells. Specialists agree that AMH is the most precise and sufficient marker for measuring ovarian reserve.
LH (Luteinizing Hormone)
Formed in the pituitary gland and stimulates the final maturation of follicles, their rupture, and ovulation. LH testing at the beginning of the period (second or third day) supports the correct interpretation of FSH measurement results, as the ratio between the values of the two hormones is an important guide for specialists.
The primary female gender hormone, which plays a main role in the functioning of the ovary. Estradiol is secreted by the growing follicle, and a rise in its concentration as ovulation approaches is a sign for the pituitary to reduce FSH production. However, sometimes this may happen earlier than usual, at the beginning of the menstrual cycle. This premature rise in estradiol causes FSH levels to fall artificially, and so an otherwise impaired ovarian reserve may appear apparently normal. Therefore, the estradiol value is needed to indicate whether the FSH measurement result should be taken as indicative or whether the test should be repeated within another menstrual cycle.
Determination of ovarian diameter and number of antral follicles; it determines the number of antral follicles in the ovary and complements the information obtained from the hormonal examinations. This provides the reproductive specialist with a basis for a definitive opinion on the state of the ovarian reserve. Although it varies from cycle to cycle, it is a quick and easy method for a “snapshot” of ovarian reserve.
It is important to note that the correct interpretation of blood test results can only be made by the reproductive specialist, and only after an ultrasound examination.
It is possible that in different individual cases, specialists may recommend additional tests, depending on your personal medical history and the presence of risk factors.