The AFC or antral follicle count is one of the most widely used markers of ovarian reserve, together with AMH (Antimullerian Hormone). It consists of assessing the number of antral follicles in each of the ovaries by vaginal ultrasound, a normal value being considered to be around 8-12 follicles in total.
In general, ovarian reserve decreases with age, and therefore the AFC, however, not all women of the same age have the same ovarian reserve and it is therefore important to assess it for any assisted reproduction treatment and in patients who are infertile or wish to preserve their fertility.
The AFR can help us to predict the chances of success in IVF, but it is not the only parameter to take into account, since it tells us about quantity, but not oocyte quality.
Oocyte quality is mainly associated with the woman's age, and refers to the possibility of her oocytes giving rise to a healthy embryo with the capacity for evolutionary pregnancy. It has been established that in patients up to 35 years of age, each embryo generated with their oocytes has a 65-70% chance of giving rise to a healthy embryo. This percentage decreases as the years go by, and at 38 years of age we are talking about 30%, at 40 years of age 25% and at 42 or 43 years of age less than 20-10%.
There are also other factors that can have a negative influence on oocyte quality, such as the consumption of toxic substances, concomitant illnesses, ovarian endometriosis, stress and unhealthy lifestyle habits.