Poor Ovarian Reserve

Poor Ovarian Reserve

Ovarian reserve refers to the reproductive potential left within a woman's ovaries. It takes into account the quality and the quantity of the eggs. As the name suggests, poor ovarian reserve implies that the quality and the quantity of the eggs in the woman's ovaries are lower than expected in comparison to her age. Studies reveal that about 10% of women experience the condition of poor ovarian reserve. Age and the quantity of the eggs are inversely proportional, i.e., with the increase of age, the number of eggs in the ovaries tends to decrease, which in turn affects the fertility of the woman.


Aging is the primary contributing factor to the condition. The other factors include:

  1. Genetic defects
  2. Damaged to the ovaries
  3. Smoking
  4. Cancer treatments that mainly include radiation
  5. Pelvic injuries
  6. Endometriosis
  7. Tubal defects


The condition is diagnosed using fertility blood tests and ultrasound. The blood test involves measuring the FSH and LH hormones that indicate the woman's egg reserve along with the serum AMH. As the age increases, the FSH levels increase with the drop in AMH levels indicating poor ovarian reserve.

Even transvaginal ultrasound of the pelvis is done to count the number of antral follicles that provide an estimate of the ovarian reserve.


There are no treatment options available that can cure the condition or increase the ovarian reserve. But women with a poor ovarian reserve can get pregnant with the help of assisted reproductive technologies. The most recommended form of treatment for this condition is the IVF technique in which multiple eggs can be produced through the process of stimulation. Donor eggs can be used after the informed consent of the couple for better results.