Ovarian reserve of a woman is the estimated count of eggs or oocytes in ovaries at any given point of time. Usually, females have about 1 to 2 million eggs at the time of childbirth; the number declines gradually to around 250000 to 500000 eggs during puberty. With each menstrual cycle, a large number of follicles get damaged and lost. Each month , the number of follicles that are recruited and around 100 but only one will actually develop. During a woman’s reproductive years, only a total of around 450 oocytes will get ovulated. Once a woman crosses 37-38 years of age, rate of depletion of oocytes becomes exponential.
Several ways are used to examine the ovarian reserve of a female. Tests like SERUM FSH/LH, Antral Follicle count, Serum Anti mullein hormone are the most popular ways of counting ovarian reserve. The Ovarian reserve of a woman is indicative of fertility potential. Individuals with difficulty planning for conception or delay in childbearing can be evaluated by examining ovarian reserve for the periodic and appropriate intervention of fertility.
Poor Ovarian reserve
Women experiencing the premature decline in the number of eggs due to some reason reduce the chances of producing a mature egg. Such patients are suspected of suffering from the poor ovarian reserve. Naturally, the number of eggs decreases with age due to ovulation, and the death of cells is commonly known as ‘apoptosis’. Women typically exhaust the egg reserve by the time they attain the age of menopause. If the fall in egg count is faster than usual, and the reserve depletes before the age of menopause, it is indicative of poor ovarian reserve.
Causes of poor ovarian reserve
- Genetic defects life chromosomal anomalies fragile X chromosome
- Advanced maternal age
- Damaged ovaries due to torsion, infection, injury, surgery or premature ovarian failure
- Auto Immune disorder
- Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy
Ovarian reserve is one of the major causes of reduced natural pregnancy or pregnancy after fertility treatment. It happens primarily because the number of eggs depletes, which reduces the chances of pregnancy.
Treatment for improving ovary invisible
As of now, there are no specific remedies for improving ovarian reserve. Some medicines have been developed that are believed to improve the egg quality and number in females. However, the benefit of such medications is still not proven.
- IVF is the usual fertility option for this group of challenging patients
- Modified IVF protocols are used in such patients to give optimal results.
- Oocyte donation or adoption remain last resort for these patients.
Symptoms include shortening of the menstrual cycle as a result of early follicle developments and ovulation. However, the symptom is not considered for diagnosis purposes. Different types of tests are conducted to identify and understand the response of ovary to stimulation. Increasing age is mostly associated with poor oocyte production and reduced pregnancy.