Age remains one of the best predictors of your pregnancy potential
Yet, your specific age does not definitively determine if you could get pregnant or not. Surely, we have all seen women who are well into their 40s getting pregnant as well as very young women who end up in early menopause. But, what specifically is your pregnancy potential?
Not really knowing your pregnancy potential can be stressful for someone who is trying to decide if they should start trying for a family. Should you start now or wait for a more convenient time in your life? It would be heartbreaking to put off pregnancy for a career or waiting for Mr. Right only to learn when it is too late and that you should have tried earlier.
Testing your pregnancy potential, or ovarian reserve, can help you make important life decisions.
Your ovarian reserve can indicate if you are ovulating normally for your age. The age at which a woman’s ovarian reserve decreases varies. To gain a better understanding of each patient’s pregnancy potential, our Louisiana fertility centers provide ovarian reserve testing using blood tests and transvaginal ultrasounds.
Four easy tests that can be completed to get a better prediction than just age of your pregnancy potential:
- Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) Test – In women, FSH helps manage the menstrual cycle and stimulates the ovaries to produce eggs. Low FSH levels at the beginning of your cycle that increase later are normal. On the flip side, high levels tells us that your body is working harder to coax eggs to maturity and that you may be in ovarian decline.
- Estradiol Level Testing – In conjunction with FSH testing, we may also assess your estradiol levels. Much like FSH, estradiol levels vary throughout a woman’s cycle. Your physician will check your estradiol levels early in your cycle. If testing reveals elevated estradiol levels, even with normal FSH levels, it may be more difficult for you to get pregnant.
- AMH Testing – Unlike FSH and estradiol, we can check your AMH levels at any point during your menstrual cycle. AMH is produced in your follicles, not in your pituitary gland. Your AMH levels relate to how many eggs you have left. As a result, low levels of AMH indicate diminished ovarian reserve and pregnancy potential.
- Antral Follicle Count – In addition to blood tests, the fertility specialists at our Louisiana fertility centers may use transvaginal ultrasound to count the number of follicles in your ovaries. Your number of antral follicles tells us how many eggs you have developing that month. A low antral follicle count indicates diminished ovarian reserve.
All ovarian reserve testing can give you critical information about your pregnancy potential and how likely you are to get pregnant when compared to other women your age. While no single test can predict your ability to get pregnant, these tests can help you and your physician develop a treatment plan to maximize your chance of having a baby.
If you’re interested in learning more about your pregnancy potential at Fertility Answers, please contact us today for an appointment.