Diminished ovarian reserve is a condition occurring in women at any adult age, although it is more frequent in women in their 30s and in couples with unexplained subfertility. Different tests are employed to diagnose the problem. The most common are basal tests for FSH, LH, oestradiol and inhibin B, or dynamic endocrine tests such as the clomiphene citrate challenge test and gonadotrophin analogue stimulating test. In recent years, great attention has been devoted to direct tests such as the antral follicle count and ovarian biopsy results. The basal FSH concentration is the most common test utilized for ovarian screening. An abnormal value is correlated with a decrease in pregnancy rate and an increase in cycle cancellation rate. Among other basal endocrine tests, inhibin concentrations appear promising, although more data are necessary before this can be included in clinical practice. The clomiphene citrate challenge test can unmask patients who might have not been detected by basal FSH screening alone, and appears to be more sensitive than day 3 FSH alone. A prospective study was performed on the simultaneous application of various markers of ovarian reserve (FSH, LH, oestradiol, inhibin B, antral follicle count) in the natural cycle preceding assisted reproductive therapy, in 60 women. The present study suggests that counting ovarian follicles by ultrasound appears, at the moment, the most reliable test of ovarian reserve, although it is influenced by subjective factors and more studies are needed in order to confirm its predictive value.
Evaluation of functional ovarian reserve in 60 patients. / Loverro G; Nappi L; Mei L; Giacomoantonio L; Carriero C; Tartagni M. - In: REPRODUCTIVE BIOMEDICINE ONLINE. - ISSN 1472-6483. - 7:2(2003), pp. 200-204.