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Let’s look briefly at three of the less effective methods for diagnosing infertility—“day three FSH and estradiol”, “day three inhibin B Level”, and “chlomid challenge test”—which are still used today in clinics around the world.

Day three FSH is a blood test which measures levels of FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone); a hormone which fluctuates in relation to a woman’s ovulation cycle. Originally, it was thought that these levels could be used to determine the existence of a high ovarian reserve (large number of eggs left in the ovaries), but studies have found that this is an incorrect correlation. FSH will only have very high levels at the very end of a woman’s egg supply. This, however, is certainly not helpful to a woman in life-planning, since it does not predict where she is on the biological clock.

Day three inhibin B level is another blood test which measures a hormone used to inhibit the pituitary’s release of FSH. Similar to measuring FSH, this test is ineffective in predicting ovarian reserve until it is already too late.

Chlomid challenge test is another test which measures FSH levels to determine a woman’s ovarian reserve, but it does so by measuring her FSH levels while taking Chlomid (an estrogen-like drug and popular medication for stimulating ovulation in infertile women). The FSH levels while one is on this drug vary widely and do not give an accurate interpretation of ovarian reserve. The chlomid challenge test is simply an indirect day three FSH and estradiol test, and it is not a good indicator of ovarian reserve until it is too late.

Fortunately, there is a new technique called Antral Follicle Count [video], developed by Dr. Silber, which solves the biological clock question with a precise, painless procedure that requires only a few minutes of ultrasound and a trained technician. Also see the Preserving Your Fertility section.

If you have any questions, you may call us at  (314) 576-1400.