Ovarian reserve is the measure of the woman’s fertility. Ovarian reserve in simple terms is the egg count of a woman. Ovarian reserve is typically studied by AMH blood test. A woman is said to have low ovarian reserve if her egg count is low on ultrasound and she is also having a low AMH value.
Women with low ovarian reserve do not have any specific symptoms. These are the findings that are usually revealed after fertility testing. Women with low ovarian reserve may even have normal menses or sometimes irregular menses.
Different women age differently. As per studies, a woman’s fertility starts declining after the age of 35 years. The fertility further decreases as she approaches 38 to 40 years. After the age of 40 years, nearly 50% of women have low ovarian reserve and a decreases fertility.
Once the woman is known to have low ovarian reserve, and she is desirous of conception, there are few options that remain. Often times, these ladies require higher doses of fertility medications to produce few follicles. These follicles once produced may be combined with the husband’s sperms using IUI or IVF techniques. The choice for IUI or IVF is usually decided prior to starting the treatment and depends on several other fertility related factors.
IVf with own eggs is usually the treatment of choice in case of repeated failures with basic treatments.
If IVF fails or reveals that the oocyte (egg) quality is too poor for good embryo (baby) development, then donor egg IVF can be done. Donor egg IVF usually produces higher and quicker success as compared to own egg IVF in women with low ovarian reserve.
In couples who are very much desirous to have a baby with the wife’s own eggs, newer medications can be tried after the necessary counselling of the couple. These newer types of treatments may take a longer treatment time to produce results.
To avoid problems that are inherent of low ovarian reserve, we recommend couples to begin trying for conception early before time runs out.