Follicle Counts


#1

So, I am just wondering what “average” follicle counts are (Although, I realize that’s a relative term). I seem to have not that many follicles when I do IVF. This is attempt #3, and the first time I had 9, but only three eggs. Last time my cycle was cancelled because I only had two, and this time I have seven follicles on Day 8 of stims, and am worried I will only have a couple of eggs come retrieval day, which is this coming Wednesday. I wish I was one of those people who could do it once and get a whole bunch of eggs to freeze. Yes, I know, quality vs quantity…but I am just a wee bit annoyed that my ovaries aren;t giving me more follies. So I was wondering what is the average?


#2

Hang on there girl! Be positive!! Im sure by Wednsday you will get more!!!Baby dust & prayers sent your way!

On my day 8 I had six follies from 7mm to 15mm. Today is day 14th, I have 5 good size follies out of 9. My RE decided to proceed ER on Monday. He said that the estrogen is high enough for retrieval, otherwise he wouldn’t do it.
Im triggering tonight.


#3

You have to remember that the count will vary a lot by age, and also by what your infertility issue is. I was just reflecting the other day that there seem to be a large proportion of PCOS ladies on here, so at least for me, that sort of skewed my expectation of how many eggs is “normal”. I read all these people having 25+ eggs retrieved, and I felt sort of inadequate.

My original antral follicle count when I started working with an RE was 12-14, and I was told that was good for my age (38). When I finally cycled, I only had 8 antrals, which I understand was on the low side. On Day 5, I had 8 follicles over 8 mm.

However, when I actually stimmed, they did get 11 eggs/9 mature. I might have had a few more develop, but I had lead follicles come up early (2 at about 15 mm on day 5) and we were trying just to give the ones that were already started a chance to catch up. When I asked my doctor if this was considered “low responder”, he said no, that that’s generally under 6 follicles, and that 11 was in range for 38. He did add that if I’d been 28, then, yes, he would have considered it low response.

But, at least so far, the numbers are working out really well for me, so the overall number can be deceiving. I had all 9 of my matures fertilize, and then 7 made it to blast, so we actually have a good number to work with, despite my 8 antral follicles. So there is hope even with lower numbers. As everyone says, it only takes one!


#4

One more – I knew I’d remembered seeing some info somewhere. From Advanced Fertility (and again, I’ll comment how much lower this sounds than what I read on here. And their averages for AFC would have made me expect far more.)

The level of response of the ovaries when the woman takes injectable FSH for stimulation is often predictive of the egg quantity and quality - and therefore, also the relative chances for success with infertility treatment. The level of response that we will get from ovarian stimulating drugs can be estimated in advance with antral follicle counts (see above table).
There are no absolute and accepted cutoffs for defining “low”, “normal”, or “high-responders”.

However, here are some general guidelines:
[B]Low responder[/B]: When stimulated aggressively with injectable FSH will develop less than 5 mature follicles - often requiring high doses of the medications. Some women will only develop 1 or 2 mature follicles - even on very high doses of the medications. These women are not good candidates for IVF using their own eggs - but are good candidates for in vitro fertilization with donor eggs.

  [B]"Normal" or "average" responder[/B]: When stimulated aggressively with injectable FSH will develop 5-8 mature follicles as well as several smaller ones.       
  
  [B]High responder[/B]: When stimulated aggressively with  injectables will develop about 8 or more mature follicles as well as  many small and medium-sized follicles. These women usually respond  briskly to lower doses of medications. They are at higher risk for [ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome](http://www.advancedfertility.com/ovarian-hyperstimulation.htm).

#5

Maia, Good luck!! It looks like it has been a long year for you. I will be crossing my fingers for you and sending baby vibes!


#6

Kimberf - thanks for the links and the insight on all this information. My doctor initally told me that my low response may have been because of hormones left from my previous cycle that gave one or two of the follies a “head start”. He is one of the prominent researchers in the field, so I trust his opnion. But this time I did a birth control pill before hand and the count still looks like it is going to be low. So perhaps it is my age kicking in after all? :frowning: Why is that so hard to accept? Oh well, everything else does look good, so I guess there is a lot to feel good about. Thanks again for the information.


#7

Was thinking the same thing

[QUOTE=kimberf]You have to remember that the count will vary a lot by age, and also by what your infertility issue is. I was just reflecting the other day that there seem to be a large proportion of PCOS ladies on here, so at least for me, that sort of skewed my expectation of how many eggs is “normal”. I read all these people having 25+ eggs retrieved, and I felt sort of inadequate.[/QUOTE]

It’s interesting you bring that up. I keep reading posts with women with soo many follicles and they’re all PCOS. I’ll admit I don’t know much about PCOS, mainly because I don’t suffer from it; but I did see a link between PCOS patients and high follicle counts. Unfortunately,I wished I saw this connection a while back since I went into my first couple appts expecting to see 20+ follicles!!.
I’m triggering tonite, with a planned ER on Tuesday. I still don’t know my exact # follicles. The RNs never offered to give me exact details of how many and sizes for each, and I didn’t both ask. I know I have over 5 on each side and they’re all around the same size and right on schedule with maturity. The RN said the count and size is very good, but I’m sure they say that to everyone. I’m more interested in how many fertilize. I’m hoping for frosties just in case first time IVF doesn’t work out.


#8

Hey Cozi,

I also think it would be a lot more comforting to have frosties in case it doesn’t work out. I don’t think I am going to end up with extras, but I hope you do. Good luck! I may be triggering tonight, too…still have to wait to hear from the clinic.


#9

Hey TTCinNYC,
You never know how many you’re going to end up having on the day of retrieval…and I really think that’s why my clinic hasn’t gone into the details. I’ve heard stories of women ending up with less than what they expect or vice versa. So you may end up with a little more than what you’re expecting.
Stay positive! I’m trying my best to be optimistic. My husband thinks this time it will work out. I’m remaining calm and just hoping for a couple embryos.
Good luck to you too !


#10

TTCinNYC

Thank you so much good luck to you too :babydust::bsv:
I had ER this morning 4 eggs out of 4 follies… Cant wait till tomorrow :pray:


#11

[quote=Maia]TTCinNYC

Thank you so much good luck to you too :babydust::bsv:
I had ER this morning 4 eggs out of 4 follies… Cant wait till tomorrow :pray:[/quote]

That is so great that all your follies are good. I will be thinking of you and hoping that those four eggs become four embryos. My trigger it turns out is tonight. Am doing retrieval on Wednesday. It’s nice to shat with people going through this this week. :wink:


#12

[quote=Cozi]Hey TTCinNYC,
You never know how many you’re going to end up having on the day of retrieval…and I really think that’s why my clinic hasn’t gone into the details. I’ve heard stories of women ending up with less than what they expect or vice versa. So you may end up with a little more than what you’re expecting.
Stay positive! I’m trying my best to be optimistic. My husband thinks this time it will work out. I’m remaining calm and just hoping for a couple embryos.
Good luck to you too ![/quote]

Thanks Cozi. You are a wise woman, I am sure. I am usually pretty positive…have just been trying to prepare myself for the worst, maybe? Probably not the best strategy. My doctor this morning reiterated that quality over quantity is what is important after I asked about the number of follicles. I am sure stressing out over all this doesn’t help eggs get that quality. He also said you never really know til you get in there how many there are.

Good luck on your ER tomorrow. I am triggering tonight at 9. Hopefully we’ll all have some nice excellent quality embryos by the end of the week. :wink: