Do young women with unexplained infertility show manifestations of decreased ovarian reserve?

Noa Abrahami, Ido Izhaki, Johnny S. Younis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To investigate whether unexplained infertility at a young age demonstrates manifestations of decreased ovarian reserve. Methods: A total of 100 women were divided into two equally sized groups. The study group comprised women aged ≤ 37 years diagnosed with unexplained infertility, and the control group included age-matched women with either mechanical factor or severe male factor infertility. Results: Both groups were comparable in their basic characteristics. Overall, women with unexplained infertility presented with inferior ovarian reserve results set against women of the control group. The number of ≥ 14-mm follicles on the day of hCG administration was significantly lower in the study compared with the control group (7.0 ± 4.5 vs. 10.4 ± 4.1 follicles, respectively, P < 0.001). Likewise, basal serum FSH was higher in the study compared with the control group (8.4 ± 5.5 vs. 6.4 ± 1.7 IU/L, respectively, P = 0.015), while antral follicle count was lower (10.9 ± 6.6 vs. 16.2 ± 6.6 follicles, respectively, P < 0.001). Furthermore, women with unexplained infertility required a higher total dose of FSH for ovarian stimulation (2,923 ± 1,701 vs. 2,196 ± 941 IU/L, respectively, P = 0.010), but exhibited a lower number of retrieved oocytes (9.3 ± 6.3 vs. 15.6 ± 7.9 oocytes, respectively, P < 0.001), alongside a lower number of achieved embryos (5.3 ± 4.0 vs. 8.0 ± 4.7 embryos, respectively, P = 0.002). Interestingly, the cumulative clinical pregnancy rate was not significantly different between the two groups (44% vs. 58%, respectively, P = 0.163). Conclusions: Young women ≤ 37 years of age with unexplained infertility have clear manifestations of sub-optimal ovarian reserve set against controls. Our findings suggest that unexplained infertility at a young age may be a risk factor for developing poor ovarian response, specifically as a quantitative, rather than a qualitative, risk factor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1143-1152
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • (Basal) Ovarian reserve tests
  • Bologna criteria
  • Ovarian hyperstimulation
  • Ovarian reserve
  • Unexplained infertility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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