Ovulation and the quality of the eggs is a critical component of successfully achieving pregnancy. The Day 3 FSH testing is done to help ascertain the quality of the eggs and the ovulatory cycle.
This test measures the level of Follicle Stimulating Hormone present on day three of the menstrual cycle. This hormone is vital for stimulating the follicles in the ovaries to produce an egg each month. It is used in most injectable fertility drugs to help induce the development of several follicles to produce more eggs.
This test is often done in conjunction with IVF procedures and the use of injectable fertility drugs. It is often used with older women who may be reaching the limit of ovarian reserve. This is the number of follicles in the ovaries. Women have a finite number of eggs. When these are gone, the hope for pregnancy is lost.
As women move toward menopause, they release more FSH to stimulate a smaller number of follicles. As the eggs begin to deplete, the body makes more FSH to stimulate the remaining eggs to ripen. This process continues even after menopause.
This test measures the level of FSH in the blood. The higher the level, the more FSH is needed to stimulate a follicle. This is often an indication that the woman is reaching the end of her ovarian reserve. Levels tend to vary between cycles, but a consistent high level is considered an indication that time is of the essence in achieving pregnancy.
While this test can help predict the quality and quantity of a woman’s eggs, it does have its limits. The test is more effective for determining poor egg quality with high FSH levels. However, a normal reading doesn’t always mean the quality of the eggs is good. Other factors can also effect the quality of the eggs.