The Fertility Center of Las Vegas

Antral follicle count can provide information about a woman’s egg supply

Female fertility decreases with age, but every woman’s biological clock is a little different. Thankfully, The Fertility Center of Las Vegas (FCLV) offers testing to help you learn about your ovarian reserve (egg supply). One of these tests is an antral follicle count.

This female fertility test is a transvaginal ultrasound study that occurs during the early phase of your menstrual cycle. During this exam, one of our Las Vegas infertility doctors will count the number of egg-containing follicles developing on both of your ovaries. The results can tell you and your doctor more about your ovarian reserve, which suggests your fertility potential.

What are antral follicles?

Antral follicles are tiny structures that are just 2 mm to 10 mm wide. Your doctor can view these follicles using ultrasound guidance during the early portion of your menstrual cycle.

While multiple follicles may develop during your cycle, typically only one reaches maturity. As a result, your ovaries will only release one egg each month.

What happens during this ultrasound exam?

You will come to our clinic early in your menstrual cycle (typically Day 3) for an antral follicle count. The test takes only a few minutes and is similar to a pelvic exam.

Your doctor or one of our reproductive ultrasonographers will perform your ultrasound, which involves a few simple steps:

  • After undressing from the waist down, you will relax on an exam table.
  • The technician or doctor will place a condom and a lubricating gel on the ultrasound transducer (wand).
  • When the wand is ready, the technician or doctor will gently place it into your vagina.
  • The wand will release sound waves to send pictures of your pelvic organs to a screen in the room.
  • Your doctor or the technician will move the wand to examine and count the follicles in your ovaries.

After one of our Las Vegas infertility doctors reviews your images, they will explain your results.

What do your antral follicle count results mean?

Seeing more follicles on ultrasound means there are even more follicles that can’t be seen. As a result, a higher count means a greater ovarian reserve. A higher number also indicates that you would likely respond well to ovarian stimulation medications. These medications play an important role in the success of treatments like intrauterine insemination (IUI) and IVF.

The following information explains what different follicle counts mean:

  • A high or very high number of antral follicles indicates the ovaries will likely respond well to ovarian stimulation, increasing your chances of pregnancy.
  • Having a follicle count in the low-to-medium range may indicate declining ovarian reserve. While your response to ovarian stimulation medications is less predictable, a good response is possible and even likely.
  • A low follicle count (three to six follicles) indicates low ovarian reserve. However, it does not reliably predict failure to conceive. If you attempt IVF, you may need a higher dose of ovarian stimulation medication.
  • If you have an extremely low count, you may not be a good candidate for using your own eggs, as your ovaries are unlikely to produce enough eggs for retrieval.

Although antral follicle count is a valuable indicator of fertility, a low number does not necessarily mean you will be unable to have a baby. To find the best treatment plan for you, our Las Vegas infertility doctors will examine many factors as part of your complete fertility workup. To start your comprehensive fertility evaluation, contact us to schedule a consultation.