Antral Follicle Count (AFC)

Last Updated: January 14, 2018

Definition - What does Antral Follicle Count (AFC) mean?

Antral follicle count (AFC) is an ultrasound test that evaluates the number of viable eggs remaining in a woman’s body in order to estimate future fertility potential. A high number of remaining eggs indicate that a woman has a high likelihood of becoming pregnant. Alternatively, a low number of eggs indicate a reduced chance of conception without intervention.

Antral follicle count is also known as ovarian reserve testing or resting follicle count.

FertilitySmarts explains Antral Follicle Count (AFC)

At the time of birth, a female’s body contains all of the eggs she will have throughout life. As a woman ages, these eggs die off or may develop abnormalities. By the age of 35, if a woman does not become pregnant after six months of well-timed, unprotected intercourse, she may be referred for ovarian reserve testing. Additionally, women who are at risk for diminished ovarian reserve, such as those with certain illnesses or a history of past cancer treatments, may also be tested regardless of age.

The number of remaining eggs in a woman’s body is determined by examining the number of antral follicles remaining in her ovaries. An antral follicle is a fluid-filled pouch that harbors an immature egg. The number of follicles remaining indicates the AFC count. AFC does not evaluate the quality of remaining eggs.

AFC cannot determine the precise completion of ovulation and fertility potential, however, it can provide a window into the time span remaining. Additionally, AFC can indicate the potential success of certain fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF)or ovarian induction medications.

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