How Is Follicle Size and Number Important for IVF Treatment? By jodorsett on February 05, 2019

An egg developing in a follicleEach year, countless patients come to our practice hoping to start a healthy and happy family. Many times, the solution to male, female, or mixed infertility is in vitro fertilization (IVF). IVF remains the most popular fertility treatment in the United States, and has solid success rates for patients.

Follicles play an important role in IVF success. For the record, we don’t mean the hair follicles on your head. Lubbock, TX fertility specialist Dr. Janelle Dorsett would like to consider some of the basics with regard to follicles and the role they play in fertility. We can discuss this and other matters in greater detail during your visit to The Centre for Reproductive Medicine.

What Are Follicles?

Follicles are not eggs themselves. Rather, follicles are fluid sacs within the ovaries that contain a woman’s eggs. As a follicle develops, so does an egg. When a woman ovulates, a developed egg is released from the follicle and waits in the fallopian tube to be fertilized.

How Important Is the Number of Follicles?

A high number of follicles will not guarantee fertilization and pregnancy. However, having enough follicles will generally increase the chances of successful pregnancy. It also helps fertility doctors with the IVF process.

During a woman’s average cycle, roughly 10 to 12 follicles develop. This number can vary based on a woman’s general health, age, reproductive health, as well as other factors.

Can a Woman Have Too Many Follicles?


When too many follicle develop, this is known as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). The condition could prove fatal if a woman is not treated for OHSS right away. This is why fertility doctors carefully monitor the medications that are given to their patients, and are attentive about any side effects that patients experience.

How Important Is Follicle Size?

Follicle size also plays an important role in IVF. When follicle reach a certain size, that tends to mean that the egg within is properly developed and will be suitable for the IVF process.

In many IVF cycles, a follicle that measures approximately 15mm-22mm (micrometers) is going to probably produce a viable egg for the procedure.

What If My Follicles Are Small or Not Plentiful Enough?

Many women who visit fertility doctors have issues with the number and/or size of their follicles, which makes conceiving a child through intercourse difficult. Thankfully, fertility doctors have different medications that can stimulate follicle development and improve their size as well. These fertility drugs are essential in increasing the chances of IVF success.

Checking Follicle Size and Number

Fertility doctors will first monitor the number and size of a woman’s follicles during her normal cycle. These findings will help determine the right types of fertility drugs to use as well as the proper dosages.

During the consultation process, we will be sure to address all of your concerns and answer all of your questions about the IVF process and what it entails. We can also discuss other important factors about fertility that are pertinent to your situation.

Contact an Experienced Fertility Specialist

To learn more about IVF and how it can help you start the family you have always wanted, be sure to contact an experienced fertility doctor. The team at The Centre for Reproductive Medicine is here to help. You can reach our office by phone at (806) 788-1212.

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The Centre for Reproductive Medicine

At The Centre for Reproductive Medicine, Dr. Janelle Dorsett and our warm, highly trained team provide the tools you need to start or add to your family. Dr. Dorsett is a board-certified fertility specialist and is an associate clinical professor at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine. She is a member of the:

  • American College in Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Society of Reproductive Endocrinologists
  • Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology
  • Texas Medical Association
  • Society of Reproductive Medicine (Fellow)

Schedule a consultation to learn more by sending us a message or calling our office at (806) 788-1212

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