Folliculogram (ovarian reserve , pre-IVF)

What is a folliculogram?

During your OBGYN exam or fertility assessment, your doctor will make many suggestions about tests that can be performed that will provide you with a clearer understanding on why it is that you are having difficulties conceiving or having difficulties with pain due to the formation of cysts.  One of the newer options for diagnosis and assessment that is available through many OBGYNs is called a folliculogram.

A “folliculogram” is also known as an “antral follicle count” or “basal antral follicle count.”  At birth, each woman has all of the eggs inside her that she will ever have in her lifetime.  Each year, until menopause, when they are all “lost”, women lose more and more of these eggs.  A woman’s ovarian reserve is where the eggs are kept for use.  These eggs rest inside primordial follicles, which are supported by the antral follicles inside of the ovaries.  Being larger, they are easier to find on an ultrasound.


Used as Part of a Fertility Program

Studies have shown that the egg count is directly proportional to the antral follicles remaining.  By counting the antral follicles, your specialist will have a better indicator of how many mature and fertile eggs remain that can be stimulated for treatment.  The larger the number of antral follicles the better the chances for successful IFV cycles.  When low, your physician may suspend IVF treatments altogether.  An intermediate astral follicle count (AFC) is neither bad, nor good, and will result in some form of continuing treatment.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is a very painful syndrome that many women will endure in their lifetimes.  When using a folliculogram to test for PCOS they instead measure the size of the follicles and their number per ovary (FNPO).  The larger the follicle size (hence more antral follicles with eggs) the greater the chance of PCOS as a condition.



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