Poor Ovarian Reserve and Infertility – What You Need to Know

Poor Ovarian Reserve and Infertility - What You Need to Know

Infertility is a kind of inability to produce a child even after making love without using any contraceptive methods for six to 12 months. It occurs in both males and females. According to experts, 1/3rd of infertility is caused by male factors, 1/3rd by female factors, and the remaining caused by a mix of male and female factors. As per the September 2020 study of the World Health Organisation, there are around 48 million infertile couples and 186 million infertile individuals across the world.  

Infertility in males and females occurs due to several reasons. As a couple, you know the real cause by having the recommended tests/screenings under your infertility treatment in Gurugram or your locality. And poor ovarian reserve is one of those reasons/causes. Here have a look at all associated points:

Poor ovarian reserve – what it is

Poor ovarian reserve is a female reproductive health issue in which a female has a lower number of follicles that develop into mature eggs. According to the summary of many studies, around 10% of females with infertility have poor ovarian reserve. And due to it, a female has a reduced pregnancy chance. 

In general, a female is born with a certain number of eggs. At the age of puberty, she has around 400 000 eggs. As per an NCBI study, only 300-400 of those eggs become mature during a female’s reproductive life-span. The rest of the eggs get destroyed. As a female turns 30, the number of her eggs starts decreasing. At 35, she is left a few hundred eggs. And the eggs have chromosomal issues due to ageing. 

Causes of poor ovarian reserve   

Many factors play a key role in the reduction of egg numbers in females. Some causes of poor ovarian reserve are as follows:

  • Endometriosis 
  • Autoimmune disorders 
  • Advancing maternal age 
  • Smoking 
  • Pelvic infection
  • Radiotherapy and chemotherapy 
  • Tubal infection, damage, or blockage
  • Mumps
  • Prior ovarian surgery 
  • Environmental factors like chemical exposure and extreme heat   

Poor ovarian reserve symptoms 

Usually, females are not aware of poor ovarian reserve. You come to know it through diagnosis during your fertility treatment. However, experiencing the following symptoms can make you assume poor ovarian reserve:

  • Miscarriage 
  • Prolonged or shorter menstrual cycles 
  • Conception issues 
  • Abnormal bleeding during menstrual periods

Diagnosis for poor ovarian reserve 

You should consult a fertility specialist as you notice a conception delay. After interacting with you, the doctor will conduct physical examinations and recommend a few tests to assess your fertility. Poor ovarian reserve, as a part of female fertility tests, includes AFC (antral follicle count and blood tests. 

  • AFC – As a transvaginal ultrasound, it helps the doctor to know the exact size and number of follicles/eggs in both ovaries. The doctor recommends you to have it on the 2nd or 3rd day of your menstrual cycle.
  • Blood tests – for knowing the levels of AMH, FSH, and E2. AMH is an ideal marker for poor ovarian reserve


Based on the reports of the recommended teats, your doctor will suggest the most suitable treatment options. Your treatment options can include:

  • Ovulation induction therapy
  • Fertility preservation 
  • Adjuvant therapy 
  • IVF with newer protocol 
  • Egg donor program 

Suggest to read:- Is Ovary Size Important to Get Pregnant?

Precautions to keep in mind 

As a female partner or couple, you should have preconception counselling or checkup before planning a conception. Following a healthy lifestyle, especially weight management and diet with exercising, can help you manage your poor ovarian reserve. Further, you should opt for fertility preservation if you want to delay your family expansion. 

Take away 

Poor ovarian reserve is one of primary causes of female infertility. Having an idea about its symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention will help you take the requisite action. 

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