Egg Count Testing | 5 Methods To Estimate How Many Are Left

| Reviewed By Kimberly Langdon, M.D.

As women age, their supply of eggs naturally diminishes due to a specific amount initially present in their bodies.

However, that’s not the reason why it can be harder to get pregnant as you age because it is the quality of the eggs and the ability to ovulate that decreases over time.

This leads many women to seek fertility treatment when they want to conceive.

To know how many eggs you have left, you can choose from a number of tests. These tests will help give you an estimate of how many childbearing years you have left. However, the number of eggs you have left doesn’t guarantee that pregnancy will occur because it depends on the quality of the egg.

Choosing the right method to determine how many quality eggs you have left is essential. Read on to understand more about each option and what limits each choice has.

How To Know How Many Eggs You Have Left – 5 Methods

The following methods will give you some idea of how many quality eggs you have left. They can be valuable to use if you are hoping to conceive.

However, none of them offer an exact count of how many follicles you have waiting to turn into mature eggs.

1. Antral Follicle Count

During an ultrasound at a certain part of your cycle, follicles can be seen. These are the ones getting ready to vie for mature egg status.

While this doesn’t give you a total count of how many overall eggs you have left, it does help indicate a few things. 

The higher the number of follicles preparing for egg status each month, the higher it’s assumed your reserve follicle number is. Though not an exact science, it is a valuable tool for doctors and patients.

If your follicle number on the ultrasound is low, that means you don’t have as many follicles ready to try for mature egg status. That leads doctors to assume that you don’t have a high number in reserve.

2. Anti-Müllerian Hormone Test

The Anti-Mullerian hormone is high when you have many follicles that could become mature eggs. It decreases over time as that follicle number goes down.

A low Anti-Mullerian hormone test doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant, but it does mean you may need some help because the number of follicles that can become mature eggs is decreasing.

3. Basal Follicle Stimulating Hormone

The follicle-stimulating hormone, better known as FSH, lets your ovaries know that ovulation is near. When FSH levels are high, this actually means there could be a problem. 

Normal FSH levels mean your body is taking the hint and has enough estrogen to stimulate follicle development so that an egg can be released for ovulation.

A high FSH level means your body is having trouble with estrogen levels and ovulation, and this could be due to a low number of quality eggs.

The higher FSH level is a sign that the FSH hormone is trying to help the ovaries along because they don’t have enough quality eggs to get things going as they should.

4. Clomid Challenge Test

Taking Clomid for five consecutive days at a specific time in your cycle is another way to figure out how many quality eggs you have left for ovulation.

Doctors will test your FSH levels on day 3 and day 10, and as strange as it sounds, they are looking for low levels on both tests.

High FSH levels mean your body is having trouble with ovulating, and that could be due to a low number of quality eggs.

Talk to your doctor about taking Clomid and about the side effects you may experience during this testing.

5. Test for Inhibin B

Low Inhibin B levels mean your follicle number is low. This hormone fluctuates during your cycle, but when tested at the right time, it can be a solid indicator of what is happening with potential eggs.

This test is done by drawing blood and can let your healthcare provider know if you would be a good candidate for certain fertility procedures. 

How Many Eggs Are You Born With?

Most baby girls are born with one to two million eggs. This number will decrease with time, and it is not possible for girls to make more eggs in their lifetime. Of these millions of eggs, many will be lost before a female even enters puberty and starts her period.

Female Egg Count by Age

Though every woman is different, there are some rough estimates of how many eggs you will have at different ages in your life. As most women know, egg number decreases with age.

Age Approximate Egg Count
Birth1 to 2 million
Puberty300,000-400,000
20-30100,000-200,000
30-3550,000-100,000
35-40Around 25,000
40-501,000-18,000

How Many Eggs Does a Woman Have Per Cycle?

While only one egg ultimately matures and leaves the ovary during ovulation each month, you lose many more potential mature eggs with each cycle.

There are egg follicles that step up to try to be the egg that matures and is released, but they don’t make it.

This means about 1,000 egg follicles, or potential fully mature eggs, are lost each cycle.

Related Questions: 

Does Egg Quality Decrease With Age?

Egg quality does decrease with age. Around the early 30s, egg quality will begin to decrease. By the late 30s, the decrease happens much faster and continues as a woman ages. 

This doesn’t mean women can’t get pregnant later in life. It just means the chances of fertility issues and birth defects increase with each passing year.

How Many Eggs Does a Woman Have at 45?

While egg count varies by person, a woman probably has between 5,000-10,000 eggs at 45 years of age. The quality of eggs is going to decrease as she ages, as will the quantity.

Final Thoughts

Knowing about how many quality eggs you have left can help you as you try to conceive. Use the tests that are right for your situation to know what fertility issues you may need help with in the future.

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