Ovarian reserve testing evaluates the number of eggs (or follicles) that are present in a woman’s ovaries. The test also looks at how many of those eggs are mature and ready to be released into the body.
The test can help detect whether you have ovulatory dysfunction, which is when one or more of your ovaries don’t release enough eggs each month. It may also reveal if you have too many immature eggs stored in your ovaries, which can lead to infertility or other problems with egg production.
Ovarian reserve testing is used to help evaluate your overall reproductive health. It can be useful in:
There are several ways to test your ovarian reserve. The most commonly used method is a blood test called Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) test.
AMH is a protein produced by the ovaries, which is used to determine the number of viable eggs in the ovaries. The AMH test measures levels of anti-Müllerian hormone, a protein produced by cells in the lining of the fallopian tubes. It does this by measuring the amount of AMH present in the blood sample. The test result can give your doctor an estimate of how many eggs are left in your ovaries.
If you’re 35 or older, chances are good that you’ve been tested for ovarian reserve. The ovaries are among the first organs affected by aging. Again, ovarian reserve testing measures the number of eggs a woman has in reserve and is used to determine if she will be able to conceive.
The normal range for AMH is between 1.0-4.0 ng/ml. The higher the number, the faster your ovaries are producing eggs, but if it’s too high, it can be a sign of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). If the number is below 1.0, it indicates a low egg count and diminishing ovarian reserve. This means decreased fertility.
Women who are above 35 with abnormal test results are candidates to use embryos from a donor. If your doctor has recommended IVF or IUI and you’re over 35, it’s important for your doctor to review your case with a fertility specialist who specializes in helping older patients conceive. In that, Ovarian reserve testing is a key part of diagnosis and subsequent treatment.
If you need more information, reach out to your OB-GYN. Fewer eggs and poor-quality eggs are among common infertility causes among women. Your doctor can help you through this problem, offering treatment plans and advice to grow your family.