Reproductive Aging

Reproductive aging is a catch-all term that is used to describe the number and quality of eggs within a woman’s ovaries. It is conventionally thought that a woman’s age is the best predictor of egg quality and FSH levels, but actually ultrasounds and anti-mullerian hormone levels offer the best measures of egg number.

There are a variety of ways to assess reproductive aging and typically your physicians at Coastal Fertility Specialists will use more than one of the above measures to help estimate how much medication is needed to help you conceive and increase pregnancy rates with infertility treatment. Factors that can affect reproductive aging include genetics, exposure to environmental toxins, tobacco use, prior ovarian surgery, endometriosis, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

If a woman already has decreased ovarian reserve there is generally no way to improve the reserve but there are therapeutic options which can help us maximize pregnancy rates with the current ovarian reserve. Those patients who are at risk of decreased ovarian reserve over time, may want to consider options such as oocyte cryopreservation (egg freezing) to preserve eggs for the future. Risk factors for future decreases in ovarian reserve include delayed procreation, impending chemotherapy, ovarian surgery and a family history of premature ovarian failure.