Ovarian reserve is defined as the pool of eggs that exist in the woman's ovaries at any given time. When there is a drastic decrease in the number of eggs, which may mean that a woman is unable to conceive, it results in insufficient numbers. In most cases, it is ageing ovaries that cause the same. There are some women who have poor or almost negligible ovarian reserve but they have intact ovarian function otherwise.
What are the reasons for the diminishing numbers?
There are many women who begin their lives with millions of eggs. However, the problem is that they tend to decay before at times even before the reproduction process starts. During 35+ years of age a woman can have 25,000 eggs and by the time she reachers her menopause it can be less than 1000.
In utero, one sees a drastic multiplication of germ cells from just 6-7 weeks. When the female foetus is about16-20 weeks this number goes to six to seven million eggs. And it starts falling and by the time puberty is attained it can be anything between 250,000 to 500,000 eggs.
Also, there are 3 categories of eggs found here, which are immature eggs, dead eggs and mature eggs - ready for ovulation.
Low Ovarian Reserve Causes
Along with the age factor, other causes are-
- The premature reduction in number of eggs is often due to chromosomal
problems like Turner Syndrome, where she lacks two X chromosomes or
even Fragile X issues.
- Sometimes, ovarian tissues are destroyed because of abrasions or
surgical removal of an ovary cyst, which may have caused ovarian
- Radiation, chemotherapy, etc. are also causes of the same.
- In some women, obesity or high body mass index is the cause of low
How can this issue be sorted?
One of the success programs that women can follow here would be IVF. Low ovarian reserve is only a hindrance in getting pregnant and doesn’t affect other health functions. So if you have low ovarian reserve and want to conceive, perhaps IVF would be the best solution.