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Antral Follicle Count

Decoding Antral Follicle Count: Your Guide to Understanding AFC

| 19 Jul 2023 | 2021 Views |

Introduction

Welcome, dear readers! You’ve found your way here because you have questions, and we have answers. Especially if your questions revolve around fertility and IVF treatment. Today, we’re going to delve into an essential aspect of fertility – the Antral Follicle Count, or as it’s known in the medical world, AFC.

What are Antral Follicles?

Antral follicles, often referred to as “resting” follicles, are small sacs filled with fluid found in the ovaries. These follicles usually contain an immature egg. Here’s the kicker: the number of these antral follicles is a strong indicator of the number of eggs a woman has left. This count becomes crucial when we start discussing fertility, as you can probably guess.

What is Antral Follicle Count (AFC)?

Antral Follicle Count, or AFC, is the procedure for counting the visible follicles in the ovaries. This count is often used to determine the ovarian reserve, a woman’s fertility potential, excluding factors like physical health and quality of eggs.

What is the Significance of Antral Follicle Count?

Knowing one’s AFC is like having a roadmap to the reproductive system. It can give doctors and patients an idea of how many eggs are available for ovulation. In addition, AFC is often used in combination with blood tests to estimate the potential for successful IVF treatments. It’s like taking a peek into the future of your fertility.

How is the AFC Test Performed?

The AFC test is a transvaginal ultrasound performed by your fertility specialist. The test is usually conducted on the third day of your menstrual cycle. Fear not, it’s a relatively painless procedure and provides invaluable insights into your fertility.

What Is A Normal Antral Follicle Count?

A “normal” AFC can range from 3-30 follicles, with most women having between 12-24 follicles. However, keep in mind that a “good” number can vary greatly and depends on several factors, including age.

Normal Antral Follicle Count By Age:

Age plays a significant role in the number of antral follicles a woman has. Here is a rough breakdown:

  • 20-24 years: 15-30 follicles
  • 25-34 years: 13-25 follicles
  • 35-40 years: 10-15 follicles
  • 41-45 years: 3-10 follicles
  • 46+ years: 0-3 follicles

This chart is a good start but remember that individual experiences can vary.

Does Low AFC Reserve Mean Infertility?

While a low AFC indicates a lower ovarian reserve, it doesn’t automatically equate to infertility. You’ve still got a shot, so don’t throw in the towel just yet! It’s possible for women with low AFC to conceive, especially with the help of treatments like IVF.

How To Increase Antral Follicle Count?

The bad news: you can’t naturally increase your AFC. The good news: lifestyle changes and specific treatments can help optimize the health of your existing eggs. Talk to your doctor about the best steps for you.

AFC in PCOS:

In women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), the AFC can be misleadingly high. That’s because PCOS can cause an increase in small antral follicles, though these may not necessarily lead to viable eggs.

AFC vs AMH:

AFC and Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) levels are both used to assess a woman’s fertility. However, AMH is a hormone secreted by cells in developing egg sacs, while AFC is a direct measure of visible follicles. Both provide essential information but are different pieces of the fertility puzzle.

Antral Follicle Count and Radiology:

Radiology plays a significant role in determining AFC. High-resolution transvaginal ultrasound is the standard imaging technique used for counting antral follicles.

Antral Follicle Count Per Ovary:

The total AFC is the sum of the antral follicles in both ovaries. It’s normal for the count to vary between ovaries. This uneven distribution is no cause for concern as long as the total count is within the normal range.

Average Antral Follicle Count at 35:

At around 35, the average AFC tends to be around 10-15 follicles. However, many factors can affect this number, such as overall health, lifestyle, and genetics.

Reach out to us at the India IVF Fertility clinics in Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon and Gwalior for more information. We’re here to support you on your fertility journey. Let’s unravel the mysteries of fertility together!

Conclusion

Understanding your AFC is a crucial part of your fertility journey. It’s a little like having a road map to your reproductive health. If you have more questions, or if you’re considering IVF treatment, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at India IVF Fertility clinics. We’re here to provide answers and guide you on your path to parenthood.

Footnotes:

FAQs

AFC is a test that counts the number of visible follicles in the ovaries, giving an estimate of the ovarian reserve.

AFC provides insight into a woman's fertility potential and can be used to predict the success of IVF treatments.

A "normal" AFC can range from 3-30 follicles, but most women have between 12-24 follicles.

Not necessarily. While a low AFC indicates a lower ovarian reserve, it does not automatically equate to infertility.

Unfortunately, you cannot naturally increase your AFC. However, lifestyle changes and treatments can optimize the health of your existing eggs.

In women with PCOS, AFC can be misleadingly high due to an increase in small antral follicles. These may not necessarily lead to viable eggs.

AFC is a direct measure of visible follicles, while AMH is a hormone secreted by cells in developing egg sacs. Both are used to assess a woman's fertility.

AFC is determined by a high-resolution transvaginal ultrasound performed by a fertility specialist.

Yes, it's normal for the count to vary between ovaries. The total AFC is the sum of the antral follicles in both ovaries.

At around 35, the average AFC tends to be around 10-15 follicles. However, many factors can affect this number.

About The Author
Dr. Richika Sahay

MBBS (Gold Medalist), DNB (Obst & Gyne), MNAMS, MRCOG (London-UK), Fellow IVF, Fellow MAS, Infertility (IVF) Specialist & Gynae Laparoscopic surgeon,[Ex AIIMS & Sir Gangaram Hospital, New Delhi]. Read more

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