There are different tests used to check ovarian reserve and Inhibin was one of the older ones used. The higher your Inhibin level, the better your ovarian reserve. With age, as your ovarian reserve gets depleted there is a decrease in Inhibin B. The Day 3 Inhibin B blood test is performed on Day 3 of your menstrual cycle. It helps determine what your ovarian reserve is.

The ovarian follicles contain granulose cells; it is these cells that produce the protein hormone, InhibinB. As is indicative by its name, this protein’s role is to inhibit the production of the follicle stimulating hormone or FSH. The pituitary produces this and promotes the growth of the follicles. Since the ovarian follicles directly produce Inhibin B, there is direct correlation between the amount of Inhibitin B in your blood and the number of eggs that are still in your ovaries. As mentioned earlier, a higher Inhibin level is indicative of a better ovarian reserve.

About the Day 3 Inhibin B Test

This is a very simple blood test which measures the total amount of Inhibin B in your blood and its performed on the third day of your menstrual cycle. Typically, 45 - 200 pg/mL is a normal result and anything below anything below 45 pg/mL is an abnormal result. The latter suggests poor ovarian reserve.  

Evaluating Fertility Potential as well as ovarian response in IVF

Your serum Inhibin levels are related to the total number of early antral follicles, which makes it quite useful to predict your ovarian response in the IVF cycles. A woman who has low Inhibin levels is also much more likely to be a poor ovarian responder.

Measuring Ovarian Aging

Reduced baseline serum Inhibin concentrations are indicative of diminished ovarian reserves. Women who have poor ovarian reserve, who have entered oopause also have low Inhibitin levels.

Apart from the Inhibin B test, the AMH level test is also used to check ovarian reserves. However , these are considerably newer tests that are also quite expensive and they aren’t very easily available either. This is exactly why the Day 3 FSH level test  continues to be the gold standard  to check ovarian reserve levels.

Read more-AMH Test to Determine Fertility

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Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.

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