What is Ovarian Reserve Testing?
As a woman becomes less young, her total quantity and quality of eggs declines progressively until they are depleted at menopause. Even though the ovary ages at a certain pace, occasionally eggs dwindle faster than expected. For this reason screening for diminished ovarian reserve is a useful tool for the initial evaluation for infertility.
The term “ovarian reserve” refers to a woman’s current supply of oocytes (eggs) and is associated with reproductive potential. In general, the greater the number of remaining eggs, the better the chance for conception. Conversely, a diminished ovarian reserve greatly decreases a patient’s chances for conception. There are several methods to assess the ovarian reserve levels.
Counseling after an ovarian reserve test
While the abnormal results may predict a lower pregnancy rate, they do not preclude the possibility of pregnancy and should not be presented to patients as absolute. Likewise, ovarian reserve testing alone may yield falsely reassuring results, as advanced maternal age and ovarian reserve test results are independent predictors of infertility. Both should be used when counseling couples regarding their chances for conception*.
* Scott RT, Opsahl MS, Leonardi MR, Neall GS, Illions EH, Navot D. Life table analysis of pregnancy rates in a general infertility population relative to ovarian reserve and patient age. Hum Reprod 1995;10:1706–10
Instructions for Ovarian Reserve Testing at RMA of Texas
- Call the office on the first or second day of your period (full flow) between 7am – 4pm at (210) 337-8453. The first day of your period will be considered cycle day number 1.
- On day 2 or 3 of the menstrual cycle, you will be asked to come to the office to have a blood sample to measure several reproductive hormones as well as a baseline ultrasound of your ovaries.
- During days 5 through 9 of the menstrual cycle, you will take Clomid, 50mg tablets, 2 tablets daily together at the same time of the day. During this period of time, we may ask you to come to the office for other testing associated with your fertility evaluation.
- On day 10 of the menstrual cycle, you will come to the office for a brief visit to obtain a blood sample to evaluate your reproductive hormones.
- On day 11, 12 or 13 of the menstrual cycle, you will come back for an ultrasound study of your ovaries to determine your response to the medication and whether a follicle (egg) is in the process of development.
Clomiphene Challenge test requires a minimum of 3 visits. The Clomid Challenge Test (CCT) determines the health status of your ovaries. The information is very valuable to predict your chances of conception. There are several conditions that increase the disappearance of eggs (atresia) such as smoking, autoimmune disease, age, etc.