Is ovarian reserve testing a prerequisite to freezing eggs?

An article on the NPR blog claims that ovarian reserve testing is not always a reliable indicator of whether a woman needs to freeze her eggs.

The article claims: Women concerned about their fertility can use a test to help decide whether they should freeze their eggs now or whether they still have time to have a baby.

But this test, called an ovarian reserve test, is often ambiguous and can be misinterpreted. Some fertility specialists worry that many women will be misled by their results, leading some to feel pressured to freeze their eggs when they don’t need to and others to miss their best window to do so.

Thjis mis preposterous because is a woman waits until her ovarian reserve testing shows a problem, it is then often too late to really benefit from egg freezing. Age is the best predictor of ovarian reserve, not FSH or AMH levels or antral follicle count. The best results from egg freezing are achieved when the eggs are frozen before age 38. So although we test for ovarian reserve we do not recommend waiting until the test are abnormal to freeze the eggs.

Women are born with all of their eggs (some 1 million to 2 million total). One mature egg is typically released each month in the menstrual cycle. Meanwhile, other eggs are slowly dying.

Beginning around age 25, the number of eggs starts to decline a bit more swiftly, and then accelerates after 35 until menopause, when eggs are essentially gone. As the quantity of eggs declines, the quality of the remaining eggs is also deteriorating, which can also affect a woman’s ability to conceive. (Egg quantity and quality are just a few of many different factors that can make it difficult for a couple to conceive.)

Ovarian reserve testing is a prerequisite to having a cycle of egg freezing but the results should not necessarly determine whether egg freezing is advisable for an individual. That decision should be based on age, family history, prospects for childbearing in the near future and the desires of the individual.

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