The ABCs of female fertility testing
If you’re trying to conceive now or researching whether you have enough time to wait a few years, you’ve probably noticed that the fertility world can feel like alphabet soup. There’s an acronym for almost everything, from IUI to IVF, and the same is true for female fertility testing. Your hormone levels can tell your Louisiana fertility specialist a lot about your egg supply and fertility, and the most common tests have their own shorthand: FSH, AMH and OAR.
Girls are born with all the eggs they will ever have already inside of their ovaries. In women with normal menstrual cycles, specific hormones produced inside the body prompt the maturing and release of at least one egg each month. Over the years, the number of eggs decreases, and egg quality may decline as well.
That’s why the closer you get to menopause, the harder it may be for you to become pregnant naturally. But even younger women can have low ovarian reserve, so if you’re having trouble conceiving, it’s smart to go ahead and get tested for fertility issues.
By measuring your blood levels of certain hormones at exactly the right time, your fertility specialist can estimate how many eggs are left in your ovaries, giving you an idea of how likely you are to become pregnant on your own or with fertility treatments such as IVF.
All about female fertility testing
When you see a Louisiana fertility specialist, one of the first things that will likely happen is that your doctor will order female fertility testing, including blood work. Typically drawn within the first few days of your cycle, your blood sample will be sent to a laboratory, where levels of a few fertility-related hormones will be measured for evaluation by your physician.
- FSH, or follicle-stimulating hormone. Produced by your pituitary gland to prompt your eggs to mature for ovulation, low levels of this hormone at the start of your menstrual cycle indicate that you have a healthy egg supply and may respond well to IVF medications. High levels indicate that your egg supply is diminishing.
- AMH, or anti-Mullerian hormone. Produced by immature egg follicles in your ovaries, high levels of this hormone indicate a healthy egg supply, while low levels indicate diminished ovarian reserve.
- OAR, or Ovarian Assessment Report. This comprehensive test combines both FSH and AMH tests with other blood tests to create an “Egg Retrieval Score” that estimates your available egg supply and can predict your response to IVF medications.
Make an appointment for testing
If you think you might need female fertility testing, don’t wait to seek out a Louisiana fertility specialist. Diminished ovarian reserve doesn’t get better with time – and in fact, it can rapidly get worse – so it’s better to get tested early if you suspect there may be an issue with your fertility or you’re considering freezing your eggs.
Contact us to schedule Louisiana fertility testing at our offices in Baton Rouge and Lafayette.