Even after end numbers of fertility tests, regular visits to the gynecologist and a regular intake of several medicines, there is only disappointment when it comes to the results.
In this scenario, ovarian reserve is an important method to evaluate the probability of conceiving a baby.
"When we talk about the ovarian reserve, we are referring to the process of determining the capacity of the ovary to offer healthy eggs that can result in a successful pregnancy. To ensure a successful pregnancy, the ovarian reserve is a great method," says Dr. Priti Gupta, Consultant Fertility & IVF, First Step IVF Clinic, New Delhi.
In pure medical terminology, the ovary is a reservoir of eggs that gets fertilized, resulting in pregnancy. During the reproductive cycle of a woman, only a single follicle among the vast group gets matured and ovulates. This process produces only a single egg and hence, the chances of conceiving is 50-50%.
Women with a good response to fertility treatments have normal ovarian reserve while others are considered to have diminished ovarian reserve.
IVF is the most popular fertility treatment, however, instead of blindly opting for the procedure, one should understand if your body has enough ovarian reserves to achieve a positive result.
IVF is a form of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) wherein the fertilization of the egg takes place outside the body and once the egg is fertilized, it is inserted back into the womb. Ovarian reserve is a strong determinant of whether a woman will conceive or not through the process of IVF.
IVF has a strong correlation with ovarian reserves-
- The number of extra follicles that can be subjected to the IVF process depends on the chronological age of the women, genetics, previous surgeries, exposure to harmful radiations, and toxins like tobacco/alcohol.
- The quality and health of the follicles and the number of eggs within those follicles.
- Age plays an important role in determining the quality/number of eggs. Therefore, ovarian reserve is an amazing concept to test the egg quality and assess the number of follicles to result in pregnancy.
Ovarian Reserve Testing
Despite age being a primitive factor while analyzing ovarian reserves, there are some important tests that predict the chances of fertility among women.
The Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) Test: Using the protein substance-AMH which is produced by the granulosa cells in the ovarian follicle, the test measures the number of follicles produced in the ovaries at a particular time. It is a very simple blood test and can be conducted at any time irrespective of the menstrual cycle. Women with lower AMH level have low chances of conceiving.
The test is highly beneficial to detect the issue in case of women with diminished ovarian reserves. It is a useful test for women over 35 years of age, or with a family history of early menopause, or have had ovarian surgeries or unexplained infertility.
Apart from AMH test, transvaginal ultrasound, the measure of Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and estradiol level, The Clomiphene Citrate Challenge Test (CCCT) also reveals the information on the ovarian reserves. However, these do not guarantee fertility.
The tests give a preview of the medical condition so that alternate treatments can be suggested accordingly. However, there have been instances where many women have conceived successfully despite negative response to CCCT and AMH test. (ANI)