When a woman is born, she has all the eggs she will ever have; they are gradually lost until menopause, when very few are left and they are not released. Put simply, an antral follicle count indicates how many proto-eggs a woman produces each month, as well as their quality, to reveal her fertility potential. As well as age, this type of test is one of the easiest ways to determine the likelihood of successful fertility treatment.
What are Antral Follicles?
Antral follicles are found in the ovaries. They are a fluid filled sac, measuring roughly 2-9mm in diameter, containing an immature egg. Once they reach a certain age in a month, antral follicles can be measured and counted during a transvaginal ultrasound. Please note: a woman’s antral follicle count reduces naturally with age.
When is an Antral Follicle Count Necessary?
Your doctor is likely to provide this test if they wish to know any of the following information:
- Your ovarian reserve (how many eggs you have remaining)
- Whether or not you have a primary ovarian insufficiency
- Whether or not you have an condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome
- How likely you are to be able to conceive a child in comparison to other women your age
What Happens if Your Antral Follicle Count is Low?
During IVF treatment, your doctor will prescribe you with drugs that aim to stimulate your ovaries so that several of your follicles mature. An appropriate number of antral follicles might be between 8 and 15. If your antral follicle count produces low results, this doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t conceive a child. What it does mean is that you may produce fewer eggs or not respond to these fertility drugs as well as another woman with a higher count.
If you would like to have a baby but are currently struggling to conceive, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and arrange a consultation. We are more than happy to help or answer any questions you may have. At Concept Fertility, we offer competitive prices and excellent success rates!