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Ovarian reserve

Ovarian reserve

While many women in their early thirties don’t have babies on their immediate radar they are wondering how long they have got before they need to worry, especially if they would like to have more than one child.

The number of eggs left in woman’s ovaries is known as the ‘Ovarian Reserve’. Women are born with all of the eggs that they will ever have and that number naturally diminishes until there isn’t any remaining and the woman enters menopause.  Generally, egg numbers reduce a little more quickly from age 30 and then much more rapidly from around 37 to 38, by the time a women is 40, her fertility is a quarter of when she was 30.  The rate at which egg numbers decline does vary between women. Unfortunately, not only do egg numbers reduce as women become older but the quality of those eggs decrease, resulting in a reduction of chromosomally normal embryos and an increase in miscarriage. The miscarriage rate increases with age from about 1 in 7 for women aged less than 25 to about 1 in 2 pregnancies at 40 years of age and above.

While a woman’s age is most significant in assessing potential  fertility there are others factors that may contribute to the overall likelihood of a women conceiving and delivering a healthy baby; these include failure to ovulate, hormone imbalance, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), blocked tubes, genetic issues and lifestyle choices.

A Fertility Assessment can be a great option to empower you with information regarding your fertility health. Results may show that you are within normal fertility ranges for your age or may uncover issues that we can discuss and embark on treatments or lifestyles changes that would enhance your fertility and general health.

A Fertility Assessment includes

1. Blood tests in the first week of your menstrual cycle to measure the levels of oestrogen hormone, luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), antimullerian hormone (AMH) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).

2. A pelvic ultrasound will determine if there any physical changes such as fibroids,  polyps or ovarian cysts that may affect you future fertility. The ultrasound, which is usually a vaginal procedure, will also measure the size of your ovaries and count the number of small follicles present, this will provide a ‘baseline’ to guide the overall assessment. 

I will review the results of the blood tests and ultrasound scan and together with a discussion about your medical history, I will then be able to provide advice about your fertility potential.

Egg freezing is an option that can be used to preserve fertility as the successfully frozen eggs remain at the ‘age’ of the woman when the eggs were collected. The process generally takes a couple of weeks and the eggs can remain frozen for up to 10 years. When you are ready to use your eggs they are thawed and fertilised before being implanted into the uterus.

No matter what your plans are to start a family, optimising your health and lifestyle enables us to be the best version of ourselves.

While many women in their early thirties don’t have babies on their immediate radar they are wondering how long they have got before they need to worry, especially if they would like to have more than one child.

The number of eggs left in woman’s ovaries is known as the ‘Ovarian Reserve’. Women are born with all of the eggs that they will ever have and that number naturally diminishes until there isn’t any remaining and the woman enters menopause.  Generally, egg numbers reduce a little more quickly from age 30 and then much more rapidly from around 37 to 38, by the time a women is 40, her fertility is a quarter of when she was 30.  The rate at which egg numbers decline does vary between women. Unfortunately, not only do egg numbers reduce as women become older but the quality of those eggs decrease, resulting in a reduction of chromosomally normal embryos and an increase in miscarriage. The miscarriage rate increases with age from about 1 in 7 for women aged less than 25 to about 1 in 2 pregnancies at 40 years of age and above.

While a woman’s age is most significant in assessing potential  fertility there are others factors that may contribute to the overall likelihood of a women conceiving and delivering a healthy baby; these include failure to ovulate, hormone imbalance, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), blocked tubes, genetic issues and lifestyle choices.

A Fertility Assessment can be a great option to empower you with information regarding your fertility health. Results may show that you are within normal fertility ranges for your age or may uncover issues that we can discuss and embark on treatments or lifestyles changes that would enhance your fertility and general health.

A Fertility Assessment includes

  1. Blood tests in the first week of your menstrual cycle to measure the levels of oestrogen hormone, luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), antimullerian hormone (AMH) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).
  2. A pelvic ultrasound will determine if there any physical changes such as fibroids,  polyps or ovarian cysts that may affect you future fertility. The ultrasound, which is usually a vaginal procedure, will also measure the size of your ovaries and count the number of small follicles present, this will provide a ‘baseline’ to guide the overall assessment. 

I will review the results of the blood tests and ultrasound scan and together with a discussion about your medical history, I will then be able to provide advice about your fertility potential.

Egg freezing is an option that can be used to preserve fertility as the successfully frozen eggs remain at the ‘age’ of the woman when the eggs were collected. The process generally takes a couple of weeks and the eggs can remain frozen for up to 10 years. When you are ready to use your eggs they are thawed and fertilised before being implanted into the uterus.

No matter what your plans are to start a family, optimising your health and lifestyle enables us to be the best version of ourselves.