What's an Ovarian Reserve Anyway?

January 15, 2019
Katherine Flemming

It's a term that has come up countless times during the #FacesofFertility campaign. I heard it from doctors, from nurses, from fertility acupuncturists and from single women who wanted to star their own families.

For one woman, she was frustrated that she hadn't heard the term before. Whitney Borins wanted to become pregnant on her own, and now encourages women to get informed about their fertile future and test their ovarian reserve as soon as possible. She hadn't even heard of the term before she needed to get tested. And such is the way with many women's health issues: under-funded and rarely discussed.

So I decided to put it to myself: I am going to get my ovarian reserve tested. Why? Well, for starters, I love information about my body, and I have two children: so I don't have a lot of emotion caught up in the idea of getting pregnant again. I'm happy to guinea pig myself for the sake of science (what's needle poke and ultrasound) to glean and demonstrate to my friends, my colleagues, the #FacesofFertility community that knowledge is power, and access to this kind of information is SIMPLE. And not too costly.

These tests are minimally invasive (blood work and an ultrasound) and inexpensive (around $150, depending on the location). “If women get tested in their early twenties and then again five years later, you have a much better understanding on your fertility future,” Borins says.

So I'm heading to a fertility clinic tomorrow to see what's happening under the hood. It's a two part thing, in which I'll have to come back and review my results to see the next steps — which could be everything from egg freezing to IVF or maybe just shutting down the shop.

So what do you think—would you get your ovarian reserve assessed?