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Approaches to Determining the Follicle Reserve

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Approaches to Determining the Follicle Reserve

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The measurement of ovarian volume has been shown to be a useful indirect indicator of the ovarian reserve in women of reproductive age, in the diagnosis and management of a number of disorders of puberty and adult reproductive function, and is under investigation as a screening tool for ovarian cancer. To date there is no normative model of ovarian volume throughout life. By searching the published literature for ovarian volume in healthy females, and using our own data from multiple sources (combined n = 59,994) we have generated and robustly validated the first model of ovarian volume from conception to 82 years of age. This model shows that 69% of the variation in ovarian volume is due to age alone. We have shown that in the average case ovarian volume rises from 0.7 mL (95% CI 0.4-1.1 mL) at 2 years of age to a peak of 7.7 mL (95% CI 6.5-9.2 mL) at 20 years of age with a subsequent decline to about 2.8 mL (95% CI 2.7-2.9 mL) at the menopause and smaller volumes thereafter. Our model allows us to generate normal values and ranges for ovarian volume throughout life. This is the first validated normative model of ovarian volume from conception to old age; it will be of use in the diagnosis and management of a number of diverse gynaecological and reproductive conditions in females from birth to menopause and beyond.