Low ovarian reserve

June 11, 2018

The ability to reproduce left within a woman’s ovaries depending on quantity and life of eggs is known as Ovarian reserve. The fall of normal ability to reproduce in the ovaries caused due to a reduced quantity or quality of the residual eggs is known as Diminished Ovarian reserve.

While normal ageing is the most potent cause of reduced ovarian reserve, genetic disorders, chemotherapies, some injuries and surgeries can be plausible causes of Diminished Ovarian reserve as well. Very often there’s a lack of visible reason for a relative reduction in ovarian reserve.

The success of having a baby with (IVF) is considerably reduced in cases of women suffering from a low ovarian reserve. Their chance of getting pregnant via natural means is even lower. Due to lower egg quality, women with Diminished Ovarian reserve often are exposed to a higher risk of miscarriage when having a baby with the help of IVF.

By what time and how much will Ovarian reserve reduce, differs from woman to woman. Some women stay fertile in their forties, while others turn infertile in their twenties itself. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, ovarian reserve begins to get reduced before women become infertile and prior to the end of their menstruation.

Born with around twenty lacs eggs, women have around only four lacs eggs left by the time puberty hits them. By late 30s this number gets further diminished to around twenty-thousand eggs only. Most women only have around thousand eggs left in their ovaries by the time their menopause begins.

There can be no symptom for diminished ovarian reserve. Reduction in menstrual cycle can be one, but is often sidelined. Women tend to find out they are suffering from DOR only through diagnostic testing such as endovaginal ultrasound and hormone assessment.

No treatment can slow ovarian ageing but when a woman is identified with DOR, her immediate step can be trying fertility conservation. The process of reclaiming woman’s eggs from her ovaries followed by freezing, is known as Fertility preservation.  

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