Are you curious about your fertility potential and what your Antral Follicle Count (AFC) means?

Written By: Dr. Nathalie Burnier, ND

In this blog post, we’ll dive into what AFC is, the value ranges, and what can be done to support egg quality.

Antral Follicle Count (AFC) is a test that measures ovarian reserve, which is an important indicator of a woman’s fertility potential. Women are born with their lifetime supply of eggs already inside their ovaries, and from the first menstrual cycle, eggs are released by the ovaries each month, causing the supply to decline normally over the years. Certain factors can cause this decline to happen faster, such as smoking, which can have a detrimental effect on fertility.

The eggs that are left after each cycle are considered a woman’s ovarian reserve. Antral follicles are very small, usually measuring between 2-10mm, and can be seen via ultrasound during the early part of a woman’s cycle. However, the actual number of follicles inside the ovaries is impossible to count because they are too small to visualize. Research has found that the number of active antral follicles on the ovaries correlates to the potential number of eggs that are left.

It’s important to note that while multiple follicles can develop, only one egg-containing follicle will reach maturity and be released by the ovaries each cycle. To determine the AFC, an antral follicle count is done via transvaginal ultrasound sometime between day 2 to 5 of a woman’s cycle. The number of egg-containing follicles that are developing on both ovaries will be visually counted by the technician. This number is a valuable piece of information in assessing a woman’s fertility potential.

Value Ranges 

The test is usually ordered to measure ovarian reserve, make a diagnosis of primary ovarian insufficiency (or POI), help diagnose PCOS, and get an idea of where your fertility stands in relation to your age (by comparing your AFC result to others your age). A higher number means greater ovarian reserve. It also means that you are likely to respond well to ovarian stimulating drugs if you go through IUI or IVF – which increases your chances of getting pregnant with these procedures. A lower AFC might mean a declining ovarian reserve – this doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant or that you won’t respond well to stim meds; it may also mean that if you go ahead with IUI or IVF, you may need a higher dose of stim meds as well.

Optimal: 10-12 per ovary (this number will be lower in older people)

an AFC of 15 is average for someone aged 25-34

9 is average for someone between 35 to 40post 5

Low: an AFC of 3 to 6 is considered low – again this doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant 

High: 40 and above is considered high and could be an indication of PCOS

AFC results aren’t set in stone either as the ultrasound equipment and skill of the technician can impact the results 

Antral Follicle Count (AFC) is a valuable test that can provide insight into your ovarian reserve and fertility potential. Understanding your AFC result can help you make informed decisions about your reproductive health, including whether to pursue fertility treatments like IUI or IVF. While a higher AFC is generally associated with better fertility outcomes, a lower AFC doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get pregnant, and there are still options available to increase your chances. In addition, supporting egg quality through healthy lifestyle habits and tailored supplementation can also improve your fertility potential. At Cared for wellness, we offer personalized fertility care that includes reducing inflammation through nutrition and lifestyle changes, as well as customized supplementation plans. 

If you have any questions or want to learn more, book a clarity call with us today.

If you’re ready to dig deep and finally have the plan you deserve, book a free discovery call with me, Dr. Nathalie HERE