A review of important fertility numbers from our Kansas fertility center expert
With an estimated 1 in 8 couples struggling with infertility in this country, Dr. Dan Gehlbach understands the feelings of frustration and hopelessness our Kansas fertility center patients may experience. Dr. Gehlbach wants to arm patients with knowledge about infertility and treatment options so that they can move forward on the path to parenthood. An important piece of the infertility puzzle involves knowing fertility numbers and what they mean.
Dr. Gehlbach explains the basics of fertility
For pregnancy to occur, the ovaries must release an egg, which is then fertilized by sperm in one of the fallopian tubes. The fertilized egg travels to the uterus and implants in the uterine lining, which is the beginning of pregnancy.
A variety of factors can prevent pregnancy from occurring, including hormonal imbalances, physical abnormalities and medical conditions such as endometriosis and PCOS. Additionally, male factor infertility can result in reduced sperm function. Dr. Gehlbach uses fertility testing and the resulting fertility numbers to pinpoint potential hindrances to conception.
A review of common fertility numbers from our Kansas fertility center expert
During your fertility evaluation, you will undergo various tests to assess certain fertility factors. These tests will measure the following:
- AMH Used to gauge ovarian reserve, anti-müllerian hormone levels (AMH) correspond to the approximate number of eggs remaining and can be measured at any time during a cycle.
- Antral follicle count Through a transvaginal sonogram, we can check the number of small follicles in the ovaries to assess the potential number of eggs that may develop during a menstrual cycle.
- Estradiol Estrogen is produced in the ovaries. If levels are too high early in your cycle, it can indicate poor ovarian reserve, and potentially a poor response to fertility medications.
- Progesterone This hormone is needed for both ovulation and to support a pregnancy. Looking at progesterone numbers can help confirm whether ovulation has occurred and also indicate whether levels are adequate to support a pregnancy.
- Testosterone Although testosterone is thought of as a male hormone, women also produce it. However, an excess amount can indicate polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a medical condition that can interfere with fertility.
- Luteinizing hormone (LH) Levels of LH rise to signify ovulation, so the hormone levels increase as the egg matures and ovulation approaches.
- Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) High FSH levels indicate decreased egg reserves and a reduced chance of pregnancy.
- Maternal age is a key indicator for potential fertility problems. Women over 35 should partner with a fertility specialist after six months of trying to get pregnant.
Dealing with infertility can leave you feeling drained. Our Kansas fertility center expert can provide details about fertility numbers and treatment options that will help you achieve a healthy pregnancy. Contact the team at Midwest Reproductive Center for more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gehlbach.