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What Are Follicles And Why Are They Important For My Fertility?

  1. 🩺 What are follicles?
  2. 🤰 How many eggs are there in a follicle?
  3. ⭐ How many follicles mature each month?
  4. 💊 What you need to know about follicles
  5. ✔ How many follicles should mature per month?
  6. 📝 How do eggs develop in follicles?
  7. ⚡ Follicle size at ovulation
  8. 🧬 How Impryl can help

Particularly when a doctor conducts a fertility assessment in the course of the program, the expectant mother often hears “follicles.”  She naturally has many questions: “What is a follicle?”, “a follicle and an egg: what is the difference?”, “are there follicles in the uterus or not?” and the main question is “How many follicles should I have to get pregnant?”

Doctors at the reproductive center will consistently answer all questions so that women on the path to pregnancy can understand their prospects more clearly and can more easily communicate with their doctor.

What are follicles?

What Are Follicles And Why Are They Important For My Fertility? - 1What are follicles in ovaries? A follicle is a small fluid-filled sac located in the ovary. As is clear from the description, the follicles are not located in the uterus. An egg develops inside the follicle. By the beginning of puberty, the female body has approximately 300–400 thousand eggs. And, accordingly, the same number of follicles, if we know that follicles and eggs have a 1 to 1 ratio.

In each menstrual cycle, several follicles grow and develop under the influence of hormones. However, most of them will not be able to reach the maturity stage and will die out. The single (in most cases) follicle that reaches maturity ruptures and releases an egg that can be fertilized. This process is known as ovulation, which occurs in most cases midway through the menstrual cycle (around day 14 of the menstrual cycle). Follicles also produce hormones that trigger different stages of the menstrual cycle.

How many eggs are there in a follicle?

We already know what follicles are in the ovaries, and we also know that one follicle contains one egg; Normally, during the menstrual cycle, one follicle reaches maturity and releases one egg. Based on this concept, “follicle” and “egg” are used interchangeably.

Follicles that have not reached the stage of maturity fade away, and the eggs they contain die. With each menstruation, a woman’s body loses up to 10–15 eggs. Thus, we have determined how the number of follicles and eggs relates.

How many follicles mature each month?

Each month several follicles mature. However, only one (in rare cases 2) will reach maturity. It is this follicle that will be able to release an egg during ovulation.

What you need to know about follicles

What Are Follicles And Why Are They Important For My Fertility? - 2

For women faced with reproductive technologies, it is very important to understand what a follicle is in the ovary, because their number, size and condition are a key point in assessing fertility and choosing a method of treating infertility.

The number of eggs a woman has is determined before she is born. And with each menstruation their number decreases. It is assumed that more high quality follicles mature at a young age. Perhaps this explains the decline in fertility in women of older reproductive age. In addition to the smaller number of oocytes, their lower quality is also important, which becomes one of the reasons for miscarriage.

To assess the ovarian reserve, follicle counting methods using ultrasound and hormonal analysis are used. Ovarian reserve is a measure of the ability of the ovaries to produce oocytes capable of fertilization and development during pregnancy.

How many follicles should mature per month?

Women often ask fertility specialists: “How many follicles should I have?” There is no single standard for how many follicles a woman should normally have in each ovary. Largely due to the inability to count primordial follicles (as they are called before maturation begins). The size of the primordial follicles does not allow them to be examined using an ultrasound or test.

During the process of growth and maturation, primordial follicles become antral. It is their counting (AFC) that gives an understanding of the ovarian reserve, that is, the number of follicles capable of reaching maturity. They are measured and their number is counted on ultrasound. The number of antral follicles varies from month to month.

The question often arises: “3 follicles - how many eggs?” The answer requires understanding the normal number of antral follicles, called ovarian reserve:

  • normal ― 6-10;
  • high ― more than 12;
  • low ― less than 6.

If a woman is interested in how many follicles are there normally in each ovary, then up to 35 years old this is an average of 5-6 follicles in one section.

Returning to the question “3 follicles - how many eggs?” In case of preparation for IVF this situation will require hormonal stimulation to increase the number of antral follicles. The more eggs fertility specialists can obtain, the higher the likelihood of creating a viable embryo.

How do eggs develop in follicles?

Follicles develop over several months. Each moment has its own stage of growth. Most follicles that grow during a woman's life will not reach full maturity and will disappear as a result of atresia.

Follicle size at ovulation

Before ovulation, the average diameter of the dominant follicle reaches about 22-24 mm. The dominant follicle exhibits the fastest growth and is the largest in size. However, it is not at all necessary that the dominant follicle contains a mature oocyte.

How Impryl can help

Knowing what a follicle is in the ovary and how it affects the development of the egg, you can try to help this process. Some couples, in preparation for pregnancy, take Impryl, a dietary supplement containing essential microelements necessary to improve the quality of sperm and eggs. Impryl contains trace elements in an activated form, which improves their absorption.

The nutritional supplement aims to prevent or restore damage to oocytes and sperm caused by behavioral and environmental factors. Impryl is indicated for women of advanced reproductive age and women with multiple miscarriages.

If the article did not answer all your questions, or you would like to receive an answer in the context of your reproductive situation, do not hesitate to write to us and get a consultation with a reproductive doctor.


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