A little biology

Ovarian Reserve & Age

A woman’s ‘ovarian reserve’ – the number of eggs she has left in her ovaries – falls with age. 

Tests of ovarian reserve can be used to predict the number of eggs you are likely to get in an egg freezing cycle.  The most significant factor is the woman’s age at the time of egg collection and her ovarian reserve.  Your fertility expert will explain this in more detail at your initial consultation.

AMH Test to Measure Ovarian Reserve

The Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) test is the best test currently available to estimate ovarian reserve. It can also be used to indicate the possibility of an earlier than average loss of fertility.  For this reason, we offer the AMH  est at the first consultation with a fertility specialist.

AMH tests do not show who is more fertile than average, nor do they predict ovarian reserve accurately in women with Polycystic Ovaries (PCOS). Your family’s fertility history, your medical history, your current health and lifestyle, and other factors can also help build a comprehensive picture of your fertility – both now and into the future. More about AMH

How many eggs can I expect?

If you’ve never had fertility treatment before, your AMH level is the best predictor of how many eggs to expect from a single cycle of egg freezing.  Age is much less important.   However, there is still a lot of variation between different women with the same AMH level, and from cycle to cycle in the same woman. We’ve shown what to expect in the graph below.

  • The middle line shows the average number of eggs suitable for freezing according to the woman’s AMH level.
  • The lower line is the 10th centile which means 1 in 10 women will get fewer eggs than indicated.
  • The upper line is the 90th centile which means that 1 in 10 women will get more eggs than the upper line.
For example (according to the graph):
If you are 36 years, of age then  10 eggs will be needed to give you  a 50% chance of having a child.
If you are 39 years of age then  16 eggs will be needed to give  you a 50% of having a child.


To find out more and book your initial consultation with a fertility specialist here