Poor Ovarian Reserve, How to Know!
By Dr. Ryan Funk, Dr.TCM, FABORM on Mon, Sep 16 2013
Poor ovarian reserve is a devastating diagnosis when trying to conceive. It comes as a surprise to most, as they still have regular, healthy cycles and don't feel "old". I have seen this diagnosis many times in women who are very young (in their early 30's). This comes as a definite shock and limits a couple's treatment options when trying to conceive.
The diagnosis of Poor Ovarian Reserve usually is prescribed after a few of the following have been seen upon investigation by a reproductive endocrinologist.
Blood Tests Predicting Ovarian Reserve:
-- FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) levels greater than 10 (Predicts poor response with ART/IVF cycles)
-- Estrogen levels elevated (limits the accuracy of FSH test)
-- AMH (Antimullerian Hormone) - low levels indicate low numbers of growing follicles.
-- Other blood tests such as IGF-1, Inhibin B, LH/FSH elevation and GnSAF may also be used to predict the ovarian reserve.
Sonographic Tests (ultrasound) for Poor Ovarian Reserve Prediction:
-- Antral Follicle Count
-- Ovarian Stromal Blood Flow
Western reproductive medicine believes that a women is born with a specific amount of eggs at birth and there is a sharp decline in the quality and quantity of these eggs during her mid 30's. New studies are now starting to question this view. Studies are showing it may be possible not only slow down ovarian aging but also possibly reverse this process. One recent study of CoQ10 has shown just this. http://www.hans.org/magazine/995/Slowing-the-Reproductive-Clock
In my own practice, I have had amazing success with women diagnosed with poor ovarian reserve. I have seen FSH levels decrease, antral follicles counts increase and even seen improvements in AMH levels. Women can influence their fertility. Not all patients can achieve these results but many can. A natural approach to the treatment of your fertility can sometimes be the most powerful. I generally see the best success when patients have a team of specialized fertility experts both Western and Chinese medicine. Assisted reproductive technologies are not always needed.
To read real stories of womens success who were diagnosed with Poor Ovarian Reserve or Advanced Maternal Age follow the following Links:
Dr. Ryan Funk
Doctor of Chinese Medicine