Slow Growing Follicles – Is It Bad? What Should I Do?

Slow growing follicles, perhaps, are one of the most troublesome experiences for people pursuing IVF.

However, you are not alone. We are here to give you a big picture on this matter.

Learn more about the topic, what factors affect follicle development, and how to improve your chance of having a beautiful, healthy baby here.

So, let’s get the ball rolling.

Are Slow Growing Follicles Common?

Slow growing follicles

Yes, it is common for some people. The popular rate ranges from 10% to 15% of people who do IVF will experience slow follicle growth.

Having slow growing follicles does not mean your IVF is unsuccessful. In fact, a lot of successful IVF has a slow growth rate.

Still, there are also more cases where the problem is the result of hidden issues that you must be concerned about.

Let’s see what it is before digging into the answer to the questions: Can you increase follicle size? And how can you improve your chances?

What Are Slow Growing Follicles During IVF?

does not mean your IVF is unsuccessful

Slow-growing follicles during IVF the situation in which follicles develop more slowly than predicted, possibly impacting the effectiveness of IVF.

Fertility professionals may be concerned since this could mean there are fewer or lower-quality eggs, necessitating adjusting the IVF procedure or medication dosages.

In a detailed manner, when you experience IVF, the healthcare providers will use medicine to stimulate the woman’s ovaries producing follicles that have eggs.

Then through blood tests or ultrasound, they will know the follicle’s development rate.

These follicles occasionally may not develop as quickly as the others do. So, when there are some, people will call them slow-growing follicles.

Slow ovaries at a low rate are not ominous at all. However, when the number is big, that is a red flag because there are fewer quality eggs, and the possibility of successful IVF is much more limited.

Even in slow ovarian follicles, some mature eggs still have the best quality. In the end, the final say still belongs to your practical situation and the healthcare professionals.

Understanding the reasons will shed light on your question: why are my follicles not growing?

Reason For Slow Growing Follicles IVF

Why my follicles are growing slowly

Hormonal Imbalance

Why my follicles are growing slowly? Hormones, such as LH (Luteinizing hormone), estrogen, progesterone, and FSH (Follicle-stimulating hormone), play a crucial role in follicle growth.

When they are imbalanced, slow ovaries happen.


Men age like wine, but women’s age will decrease the ovarian reserve (number of eggs available) and even egg quality.

When you are over the ideal age to become pregnant, especially over 35, the growth rate of follicles reduces partly.

Not only eggs, but the power of normal cells, and even white blood cells will deteriorate too. 

These cells’ health does not show obvious symptoms that you can see immediately. It is just simple like you got a flu and it takes more time to heal. That is an age’s impact.

So, when you are in a watchful waiting period for the doctor’s conclusion for your case, just keep healthy habits so that your body has enough strength to receive the news and get ready for next stages.

Poor Egg Quality

Poor quality eggs mean these eggs have chromosomal abnormalities or are hard to interact or respond with the medication used to stimulate their growth.

Consequently, it contributes as one of the risk factors for subpar follicle growth rate.

Ovarian Cysts

Ovarian cysts or some kinds of polycystic ovarian syndrome are another thing to blame because:

  • It alters the physiological equilibrium of hormones.
  • It clogs the blood arteries that supply the ovaries.
  • It disrupts the ovary’s structure and operation.
  • It directly affects the development of the medication-stimulating egg as well.

Besides, ovarian cysts can develop into cancer cells and finally become ovarian cancer.

You should always observe the common symptoms, signs of disease and follow doctor advice treatment options to ensure you can treat it right away.

Don’t wait until it comes to advanced stages; it will directly affect your follicles growing.

Radiation Therapy /Ovaries Surgery 

Why aren’t my follicles growing? Either of these events in the pelvic region is more likely to harm the ovaries and hinder follicle development.

It is recommended to communicate with your medical team and care team to ensure the standard treatment is on the right track regardless of any form of cancer.

This way, you always know in advance where the roots of slow ovaries are from.


Certain medications can affect follicular growth rate, delay the process, or put an end to its development. Too high or too low stimulation medications can account for this result too.


It goes without saying that if you are in an IVF cycle and under a lot of pressure and stress, the common type of pressures will disrupt the hormonal balance.

In the long term, it increases risk factors of low follicular growth rate.

Lifestyle Factors

Some bad habits or lifestyles like alcohol passion, smoking, and unhealthy diet all take a toll on follicular growth rate.

It also affects human immune cells, making you more vulnerable to outsider factors.

In short, the reasons for slow ovaries vary. Sometimes, it is even unclear.

So, coordinating and communicating with your doctor is the best bet to ensure where your situation stems from. You will have the best treatment when you get all the signs of slowing development.

What Occurs When Follicles Develop Slowly?

Decreased Egg Retrieval

The doctor prescribes so that you can have more eggs. However, the expected eggs will likely be reduced when follicles develop slowly.

Egg Quality Is Being Affected

Slow development can lead to poor egg quality. As a result, it can lower the likelihood of a successful pregnancy.

Cancellation Of IVF Cycle

The slow development also causes the risk factors of cancellation of the IVF cycle because there aren’t enough viable follicles. It is the most heart-breaking news ever to any couple trying IVF.

Fee Being Increased

When the follicle development does not reach the optimal or needed milestone, extra medication & monitoring are more likely in need.

Consequently, you need more money to do even more complex procedures to get what you want.

How Can You Improve Follicle Development During IVF?

Improve The Blood Flow

Rich oxygen in blood flow will ensure the eggs’ health. In fact, it is easy to improve blood flow.

You just need to drink enough water daily, follow pregnancy-friendly exercises, and ensure your heart is healthy to transfer blood to your body. That’s it.

Choosing Right Supplements

Well, not all supplements are good for you, especially when you are in IVF. Some contain infamous strong antioxidants, which are more likely to damage or decrease the eggs’ quality.

You should discuss with your doctor whether the supplements are good for you or which one you should not take.

Have A Healthy Diet

No eggs can develop well in a weak body. That is why you should put your focus on your overall health. Everything you consume matters.

Nutritious food like vegetables, fruit, grains, and fish are a good chance to support fertility.

Don’t forget to stop eating junk food, saturated fats, processed food, and too much salt or sugar, and stay away from alcohol. High-mercury seafood like octopus should also be minimized.

Stop Smoking

A lot of research proves smoking is linked to serious issues with people’s fertility. Cigarette substances mutate the egg’s DNA, make them equal to the egg, and increase egg loss.

Keep Your Healthy Weight

Being underweight means your body is not healthy enough to carry eggs, hence bad egg quality. You should check your BMI indicator and adjust your diet to ensure you got the proper weight.

Besides, if you have time, check out some back strengthening exercises for pregnancy, as when you get the good news from IVF, you can proceed immediately.

Be Happy

Stress does not create a happy egg. When you do IVF, let’s slide it over and be happy! Joining diverse activities can help you release yourself and overcome any stress.

Besides, doctors encourage women to join a meditation or do yoga to relax and have quality time too.

You are happy; your egg will see your point and continue its healthy development.

Even if you have slow growing follicles, instead of anxiety and stress when the doctor does not say anything bad, just let your hair down.


Are Follicles And Eggs The Same?

No, they are not the same, but they are related. In IVF, follicles are like a house where the eggs live.

Each of them has one egg. The follicles’ role is like a structure to support the egg’s growth.

And then, when it reaches certain milestones, it will be released from the follicles to start the next step of making a baby.

Are Slow Growing Follicles Better?

No. As the IVF process is to have enough quality eggs, slow growing follicles cause poor egg quality, which is more likely to reduce the number of mature eggs, so the chance of successful IVF is more limited.

Yet, each woman’s reaction to IVF medicines may vary, and some may experience success, albeit with follicles that grow slowly. So, it is a case-by-case situation.

You should strictly follow your doctor’s advice and always remain calm before any final word from your trusted healthcare provider.

Final Thoughts

Slow growing follicles when trying to have a baby through IVF send many couples into headaches.

Again, no matter how much you worry, don’t panic because, in fact, there are chances that you will have a healthy baby after all.

The important thing is to listen to your body, follow health provider advice, try to communicate, and keep a relaxed state as much as possible.

Magic might happen when we have little to no expectation. We wish you nothing but the best.

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