Ovarian reserve

Ovarian reserve (OR) can be defined as the quantity and quality of the follicles left in the ovary at any given time. Unlike other fertility issues such as tubal block or a slightly lower sperm count where treatments such as IVF or ICSI can overcome the problem, a healthy woman has a finite number of eggs, which irreversibly declines with age. Women with a reduced number of eggs remaining have a low ovarian reserve.

Women under 40, 2008-2017







Live births

Egg numbers

An accurate assessment of OR is therefore vital as both egg quality and quantity impact on the chances of both getting pregnant naturally and IVF success rates. This assessment can help a couple’s decision making process with regard to when and if they should proceed with a cycle of fertility treatment. It also helps determine the correct dose of medication required to optimise response and avoid the risk of hyperstimulation.

The most accurate markers of ovarian reserve the Lister Fertility Clinic recommend are:

  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH Levels) blood test (at any point in the cycle)
  • Antral Follicle Count (transvaginal scan at any point in the cycle)

For more detailed information download our patient guides: