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The Fertility Center of Las Vegas

Fertility treatments can help women overcome a low antral follicle count

An important first step for women at our fertility clinic in Las Vegas is determining if they have a low antral follicle count. This count is an important aspect of a woman’s fertility evaluation, as it indicates how many unstimulated eggs, also called resting follicles, she has in each ovary. A low antral follicle count can make it difficult for a woman to conceive without the support of a fertility specialist.

Doctors use ultrasound to count the number of egg follicles

On day two, three or four of a woman’s menstrual cycle, she comes to our fertility clinic in Las Vegas for a transvaginal ultrasound. Doctors recommend women receive an ultrasound during this time, as the egg follicles have not yet begun maturing.

For this ultrasound exam, the fertility specialist, who might be accompanied by an ultrasound technician, covers the ultrasound transducer with a lubricated sheath, then gently inserts it four to five inches into the vagina. The transducer releases sound waves that create images on the monitor. The doctor will then count the resting egg follicles in each ovary. Most women experience no discomfort during this exam.

Women often receive a blood test after the ultrasound, so the doctor can evaluate the reproductive hormones, such as anti-Mullerian hormone, estradiol, prolactin, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone and thyroid-stimulating hormone. Together with the ultrasound, these hormones can reveal important information about a woman’s ovarian reserve.

Learn what women can expect if they have a low antral follicle count

After the ultrasound, the doctor helps the woman understand what her antral follicle count means. Ideally, a woman has at least 10 egg follicles, but there are effective treatment options for women with fewer than ten follicles.

Treatment for women with three to six follicles. Because an antral follicle count can change from month to month, the doctor might recommend that a patient with three to six egg follicles have another ultrasound or repeat her lab work during her next menstrual cycle. The combination of labs and ultrasound information will help determine the best plan for her.

For patients who do not have an increase in their antral follicle counts, doctors often prescribe higher doses of ovarian stimulation medications during an intrauterine insemination (IUI) or IVF cycle.

Treatment for women with fewer than three follicles. Women with a very low antral follicle count might not produce enough mature eggs to develop a pregnancy, even with the support of ovarian stimulation medications. In this case, the doctor might recommend alternative protocols or donor eggs.

After the evaluation of a woman’s antral follicle count and the completion of additional fertility evaluations, a doctor at our fertility clinic in Las Vegas works with her to develop an effective treatment plan. Often, this plan helps the patient fulfill the dream of taking home a baby.

Contact us for more information about our fertility services.