Jefferson University Hospitals

Diminished Ovarian Reserve

Did you know that ovarian aging begins while the female fetus is still growing inside her mother's womb? A female has approximately six million eggs before she is born. Several hundred thousand eggs remain by puberty. At the time of menopause, a woman stops ovulating altogether.

Research has demonstrated that the likelihood of establishing pregnancies begins to decline when a woman reaches age 25. Between the ages of 35 and 40, fertility rates fall significantly and these rates may rapidly decline after age 40. This reduced fertility appears entirely due to diminishing egg quality and quantity associated with increasing age.

Having a low ovarian reserve is only an issue for women who want to become pregnant. For expert advice and care concerning diminished ovarian reserve, seek the fertility specialists of the Reproductive Medicine Associates (RMA) at Jefferson in Philadelphia.

How is a Woman's Ovarian Reserve Measured?

A variety of measures is used to estimate a woman's ovarian reserve. It is important to understand that ovarian reserve testing is not perfect: no test results should be interpreted to mean that an individual will or will not be able to have a baby using her own eggs. That said, test results help to predict success rates with different treatments and may inform medical decisions.

Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) Levels

Measuring follicle-stimulating hormone levels on the second, third or fourth day of a woman's menstrual period is somewhat predictive of future fertility. While elevated FSH levels mostly affect women in their late 30s and early 40s, young women with elevated FSH levels also have reduced likelihood of establishing pregnancies.

Antral Follicle Count

Another method to assess ovarian reserve and the chance for pregnancy is by assessing the woman's antral follicles (the small follicles that produce eggs each month and are measured with ultrasound). An antral follicle count is a good predictor of ovarian potential to produce eggs in response to fertility medications.

Anti-Müllerian Hormone

More recently, measuring anti-Müllerian hormone, a hormone secreted by the ovary, can help to assess ovarian reserve and fertility potential.

How is Diminished Ovarian Reserve Treated?

In some cases, diminished ovarian reserve will respond to fertility treatments ranging from the less aggressive therapies all the way to in vitro fertilization (IVF).

When these treatments fail or are deemed to be very low yield, the use of donor eggs is an effective therapy for women with diminished ovarian reserve.

Why Choose Jefferson for Diminished Ovarian Reserve Treatment?

At RMA at Jefferson, our doctors can assess ovarian reserve and counsel you regarding the interpretation of your ovarian reserve test results. Our experts can offer a full range of treatments, from the least to the most aggressive therapies that may be of benefit. When needed, our donor egg program is extremely successful and produces a pregnancy rate of approximately 70 percent per treatment.

Learn More About Our Donor Egg Program >

See Our Exceptional Pregnancy Success Rates with IVF >

Schedule an Appointment with a Fertility Expert

To schedule an appointment with one of our fertility specialists, please call 215-922-1556.

Flexible financing options, a refund guarantee program, military and first-responder discounts, and financial aid programs each aim to make our world-class care as widely available as possible. To reach out to a financial counselor, please e-mail info@rmaphiladelphia.com.