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Passive Ovarian Reserve Testing: Measuring FSH and LH

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Saturday, July 12, 2008 | 0 comments

assessing ovarian reserveThe methods for assessing ovarian reserve are classified into two groups: passive testing and dynamic testing. The goal of both approaches is to provide information regarding oocyte (egg) quality and quantity. We'll begin this section by examining passive testing methods.

As clinicians gained experience with IVF in the 1980's, it became apparent that early follicular-phase FSH levels played an important role in pregnancy outcomes. We soon discovered that day 3 FSH (measured by a blood test) could be very useful in predicting response to ovulation induction and IVF.

As a woman ages, FSH becomes elevated in an attempt to force the aging ovary to respond. However, the exact mechanism responsible for this adaptive response remains unknown. A rise in early follicular-phase FSH is also accompanied by a decline in oocyte quality, and some investigators have linked such FSH elevations to fetal abnormalities. In fact, it has been theorized that subtle but measurable increases in FSH precede menopause by approximately five years in some women

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About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost that precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted that there will be no more babies in our house.

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