Nov 05 2015

Understanding Low Ovarian Reserve: How Does It Affect Fertility?


A woman's reproductive organsDr. Janelle Dorsett has established herself as one of the leading fertility doctors in the greater Lubbock area. Using state-of-the-art technology and proven techniques such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), she and her team have helped countless patients start the families that they have always wanted.

A number of patients have asked questions about low/poor ovarian reserve. Let's provide some basic answers right now.

About Low Ovarian Reserve

Poor ovarian reserve is a condition in which a woman's fertility is greatly diminished. This may be due to a low number of viable or good-quality eggs remaining in the ovaries. With fewer viable eggs available in the ovaries, the likelihood of successful conception and pregnancy can go down significantly.

Common Causes of Low Ovarian Reserve

One of the most common causes of poor ovarian reserve is age. After women reach their mid-thirties, the number of viable eggs for pregnancy goes down. The number of viable eggs decreases even more once women reach the age of 40 and beyond.

Yet age is not the only reason that a woman may experience a low ovarian reserve. Women who are much younger may actually experience a condition known as premature ovarian aging (POA).

Other potential causes of low ovarian reserve include chromosomal problems, torsion, surgical removal of an ovary or part of an ovary, radiation exposure, chemotherapy, ovarian cysts, and obesity/morbid obesity.

Testing a Woman's Ovarian Reserve

Assessing potential issues with ovarian reserve often involves a few different kinds of tests.

For one, a fertility specialist may measure a woman's hormone levels, particularly focusing on follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). In particular, FSH will be measured on the third day of a woman's menstrual cycle.

Another option for testing involves a transvaginal ultrasound to determine antral follicle count (AFC). A less invasive ultrasound to check ovarian volume can also be performed.

The ideal test will depend on your age and your situation, so we will work closely with you to assess your situation and then administer the proper treatment as needed.

Treatment Options to Consider

There are plenty of fertility treatment options to consider when it comes to address these kinds of fertility problems.

The most common kind of treatment is in vitro fertilization (IVF). During IVF, viable eggs are harvested and fertilized in a lab setting to help ensure proper fertilization and pregnancy. This is a good option for male infertility issues as well.

In other cases, it may be ideal to seek out an egg donor. Egg donors are women who provide their own eggs in order for other women to use to start a family. An egg donor can be selected using physical characteristic as well as measurements of personality traits and intellect.

For older women, it may be suggested that a surrogate carrier be used. A surrogate carrier is a woman who is hired to bring a child to term on the behalf of another party. This is a good option when there are issues related to age, health, or other circumstances that would make a woman carrying a child to term on her own a risky endeavor.

Which Option Is Right for Me?

During your visit to the practice, we will be more than happy to go over all of your options for fertility treatments. This will help you start the family that you have always wanted to have, and give you a great idea of what to expect during the treatment process.

Learn More About Advanced Fertility Treatment

To learn more about addressing issues with ovarian reserve, be sure to contact our fertility treatment center today. Dr. Janelle Dorsett and the entire team at the practice will help you make smart choices about your fertility treatment options.

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The Centre for Reproductive Medicine
Lubbock Office

Address: 3405 22nd St Ste 300
Lubbock, TX 79410

Phone: (806) 788-1212