am I still fertile? tests for ovarian reserve
Blood tests to assess ovarian reserve and whether you are still fertile include
- Anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) is considered the best blood test to measure ovarian reserve, and is usually performed on day 3 of your cycle. AMH is produced by antral (developing) follicles on the ovaries, and levels relate to the number of antral follicles present. Low AMH levels are seen in low ovarian reserve, but elevated levels may indicate PCOS. AMH tells us more about the quantity of possible eggs than quality. More about AMH here
- Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) which becomes increasingly elevated as menopause approaches, but may also be increased in hormonal imbalance. FSH levels normally show a small peak in each menstrual cycle before ovulation. The test is taken on day 3 when your FSH levels would normally be low.
- Inhibin B this test is taken on day 3 of your menstrual cycle, and low levels indicate a low ovarian reserve. The level of inhibin B at day 3 indicates how many follicles are present on the ovary.
This combination of tests can be booked for you at The Doctors Laboratory in London and is termed an Ovarian Reserve Profile. It will be taken on day 3 of your cycle.
The tests can also be arranged locally at The Clinic MK.
Ultrasound scanning can be performed to show an Antral Follicle Count. These are the developing follicles that can be seen on the ovary on day 3 of your cycle. A good count shows good ovarian reserve, but too high a count may indicate PCOS.
The advantage of being tested is that it enables you to make life plans and decisions. Many women are delaying having a baby while busy developing a career, or focussing on other areas of life. Knowing your hormonal status may prompt you to make definite plans, or to make lifestyle changes that help balance hormones.