An antral follicle count of 22 to 35 is considered normal by most fertility specialists, according to the Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago; women with counts in this range are excellent candidates for ovarian stimulation and IVF. Follicle counts of less than four are classified as extremely low, and most fertility specialists will not recommend that a woman start IVF therapy with such a low count.
Advanced Fertility states that strong follicle counts are associated with greater response to medications that stimulate the ovaries and a heightened chance for a woman to become pregnant through in vitro fertilization, or IVF.
The eggs that a woman is born with are all the eggs she will ever have. Women continue to lose eggs up until menopause. Antral follicle counts provide a means for fertility specialists to judge the number of remaining follicles inside the ovary. Each follicle contains an immature egg that may become viable at some point in the future through procedures designed to stimulate the release of the eggs. A high number of antral follicles tends to yield a better chance of retrieving more eggs for IVF procedures, whereas fewer antral follicles tend to forewarn of fewer eggs that are available. Pregnancy rates in women with higher follicle counts are greater than those with lower counts, according to the Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago.