Clinical implications of ovarian reserve testing.
Serum and urinary markers of ovarian reserve, follicular phase inhibin B, follicle stimulating hormone, and antimullerian hormone levels, are physiologically associated with ovarian aging, decline with chronologic age, and appear to predict later stages of reproductive aging including the menopause transition and menopause. In infertile women, they can be used to predict low oocyte yield and treatment failure in women undergoing in vitro fertilization. These markers seem to be affected by common ovarian toxicants, such as smoking, which advance the age at menopause. Although available for commercial use, home test kits have not been shown to predict fertility or infertility in the general population. Clinical use of these markers is limited by the variety of assays, lack of definitive thresholds, and their intercycle variability in older women. Results should be conveyed with caution when highly discrepant with age, in the obese, and in women with irregular menstrual cycles. Further research is needed to assess their predictive value for determining fertility in the general population.
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