The relative efficacy of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), FSH:LH ratio and oestradiol is evaluated as a predictor of ovarian reserve (reproductive age) in normal women. Serum levels of FSH, LH, oestradiol and FSH:LH ratios were measured during menstrual cycle days 1-4 in younger (20-25 years; n = 23) and older (40-45 years; n = 32) reproductive age women with regular menstruation and normal reproductive function. On days 1-4, mean levels of FSH, oestradiol and FSH:LH ratios were significantly higher in older compared with younger women. FSH increased in concentration across cycle days in both age groups. A significantly lower LH value in younger versus older women was found only on day 1. Oestradiol showed no change across days in the younger group, but increased significantly from day 1 to day 4 in the older group. FSH values on days 1 or 2 were the best single predictor of age differences. However, the best prediction of age differences was obtained by using the combination of FSH and LH (as opposed to the FSH:LH ratio) on day 1 of the menstrual cycle.