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 Health.
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.
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 Health for Diminished Ovarian Reserve Treatment?
The doctors of RMA at Jefferson Health 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.
Schedule an Appointment with a Fertility Expert
To schedule an appointment with one of our fertility specialists, please call 215-922-1556.
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