Follicle-stimulating hormone, also known as FSH, is a hormone checked routinely between days 2-4 of the menstrual cycle. It is produced by the pituitary gland to stimulate the ovaries to develop follicles. As a dominant follicle develops, it in turn sends certain signals (inhibin-B) that will suppress FSH release (negative feedback).
When we talk about egg quality, we mean whether or not the egg is genetically normal (euploid) or abnormal (aneuploid). A good quality egg should contain 23 chromosomes. However, as a woman gets older, more of her eggs have abnormal chromosomes, which is a major cause of miscarriages, IVF cycle failure or genetic disorders such as down syndrome. These abnormal eggs are just not able to fertilize and develop correctly.
Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH)
A hormone secreted by the cells of the developing antral and pre-antral follicles (or egg sacks) in the ovaries. Once secreted from these growing follicles, AMH stops more immature ones from getting recruited into the maturation process, so that not all the eggs mature all at the same time. Because AMH reflects the number of eggs maturing in the ovaries on their way to ovulation, AMH is a strong indicator of a woman’s ovarian reserve (OR) – the ovaries’ ability to produce good-quality eggs. Using the Roche Elecsys AMH Assay, the median AMH level (pmol/l) for a donor between 20–29 years of age is 13.1 – 53.8.