Dr Rafael Bernabeu highlights the importance of assessing all patients’ ovarian reserve in a speech at the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Society Congress
A woman’s ovarian reserve is the number of viable oocytes that she has in her ovaries at any given time. This figure conditions the quantity of ova that can be retrieved during in vitro fertilisation treatment. As a woman ages, her ovarian reserve decreases and this is why the Medical Director at Instituto Bernabeu, Dr Rafael Bernabeu, has emphasised the importance of this factor and encouraged both experts in the field and patients to be keenly aware of this before it is too late.
Dr Bernabeu addressed the question of assessing ovarian reserve in patients during his speech entitled ‘Opportunist assessment of ovarian reserve: Should we do it? Who? When? For whom?’ within the framework of the 16th congress organised by the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Society of the Valencian Community which was held on 6th and 7th February in Elda, Spain.
The specialist pointed out that measuring ovarian reserve is advisable in all patients. Patient assessment should include case history and ultrasound scans, laboratory tests to obtain anti-Müllerian hormone levels (indicating the number of ova that a woman can generate at a given time in her life) and follicle-stimulating hormone levels (stimulation of ova growth in the ovaries), in addition to other complementary tests such as karyotype, fragile X and genome sequencing.
Dr Bernabeu points out that a woman’s biological clock is constantly ticking. As women age, their implantation rates drastically decrease whilst abortion rates and chromosomal abnormalities in embryos increase.