Antral follicle count (AFC)
Before going through a fertility treatments, IVF specialist will ask some fertility tests to be performed. The “antral follicle count” (AFC) is one of those key fertility tests. The antral follicle count, together with some hormone blood tests, are considered as a must for fertility testing.
What is an Antral follicle?
Women are born with all the eggs they will ever have. The number of eggs decrease constantly until menopause. “Ovarian reserve” refers to the reserve of the ovaries in other words “remaining egg supply” to be able to have babies.
Antral follicle is a small follicle (fluid-filled sac) in the ovaries that contains a immature egg that can potentially develop and ovulate in the future. A mature follicle (about to ovulate) measures between 18 – 25 mm.
What does AFC stand for?
The “antral follicle count” (AFC) means the sum of those follicles on both ovaries that can be detected by transvaginal ultrasound. Together with AMH test results and the age of a woman, the number of antral follicles, stand for the most accurate indicators of ovarian reserve that links with reproductive potential of woman. In other words, AFC indicates, how many eggs are left in your ovaries and the total number of mature eggs you might retrieve from a stimulation cycle.
Antral follicule numbers also good indicators for;
Ovarian response to stimulating medications used in IVF (How many eggs might be retrieved from a stimulation cycle)
- Chances for a succesful IVF
- Risk for a cycle cancellation
How does AFC change according to the age?
As the age icreases, women have less eggs remaining and fewer antral follicles. The number of follicles declines at a faster rate after age 35. Although these figures vary from woman to woman there are general benchmarks based on the studies.*
Age Average AFC Lowest AFC Highest AFC
25 to 34 15 3 30
35 to 40 9 1 25
41 to 46 4 1 17
Does a low AFC mean that you are unable to have a baby?
Although antral follicle count is a valuable indicator of fertility, a low number does not necessarily mean you will be unable to have a baby since for getting pregnant one good quality egg to be ovulated might be sufficient.
Please feel free to consult us to find out the best fertility treatment option for you.