How many eggs are in the basket?
An ovarian reserve test, like a sperm test, determines the possible number of eggs in a woman’s ovaries. Finding the exact number is not possible. However, doctors can use measurements to give a range of available eggs. Women are born with millions of eggs in the ovaries. With age, the eggs decrease in both quantity and quality. This is one reason why pregnancy rates decrease and miscarriages increase after 35. Though pregnancy is still possible, a reduced egg count makes conception harder.
Checking the clock
How can doctors gauge how many eggs remain? Doctors sometimes use a follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) test. This tells what a woman’s egg reserve looks like. Over time, studies have show the anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) test gives a more accurate account of egg reserve. Together with a transvaginal ultrasound, doctors can get the critical data needed to proceed with fertility treatment.
Improving fertility chances with testing
Ovarian reserve testing alone cannot improve fertility. But a positive test means doctors can proceed with the steps for assisted reproduction like hormone medications. Testing helps women with secondary infertility if reserves have depleted since the first pregnancy. Clinics can also predict the success rate of IVF based on past data.
Proven ways to improve fertility
Women looking to get pregnant can improve ovarian reserve quality. A balanced diet of high-quality fats, protein, and carbs can reduce infertility by 66%. Studies prove lifestyle changes like reducing stress and quitting smoking also improve fertility.
The first step to a successful pregnancy
Getting an ovarian reserve test has great benefits. But couples should know how to interpret results. A poor reserve does not mean couples should give up on having a child. In fact, some women with great ovarian reserves experience unexplained infertility. What the test does is prepare all parties involved for the road ahead. Together, couples and physicians can find steps to improve the chances of a healthy baby.
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