What is ovarian reserve and how can it be measured?
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Ralph Kazer, M.D.
Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
The ovarian reserve is a term that described the ability of the ovaries to respond to hormonal stimulation and also refers, to some extent, to the quality of the eggs that the patient is capable of producing. The ovarian reserve is a key component to the ability of the patient to become pregnant in the future. There are no precise tests to measure a patient’s ovarian reserve, but some hormone tests, which involve simple blood tests, can provide us with useful information about the patient’s ovarian reserve. The most common hormone that’s measured in this regard is the hormone FSH. Other hormones may also be used in the future to supplement the information we get from FSH, including measurements of hormones like inhibin B and a hormone called AMH.