XRobyn NazarE-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Info: Posts by the author (37)Posted by RobynNazarRN on November 25, 2013 at 1:56 pm
Had a failed IVF cycle, or maybe you’re of advanced maternal age? If so, your fertility doctor may have diagnosed you with poor egg quality. Poor egg quality can drastically decrease your chances of a successful pregnancy during IVF treatment, and can be a barrier against conceiving if left untreated.
Why is Egg Quality Important?
High quality eggs produce high quality embryos. Although embryos are one-half sperm, one-half female oocyte (egg) – almost all the embryo quality depends on the original quality of the female egg. Ninety-five percent of embryo quality comes from the egg. High quality embryos are more likely to survive the important early stages of development than poor-quality embryos. In short, high quality embryos are more likely to lead to successful pregnancies.
How Do I Know if I have Poor-Quality Eggs?
A woman’s ability to produce high-quality eggs (also known as ovarian reserve/OR) decreases as she ages. This natural process normally takes place in a woman’s 40’s. This decrease in production of high quality eggs is known as diminished ovarian reserve (or DOR). DOR is characterized by a low number of eggs in a woman’s ovaries and/or impaired development of existing eggs.
DOR isn’t just a condition that affects the ovaries of aging women – sometimes it can affect younger women too. Around 10% of women will have a decline in their ovarian reserve earlier in life. Their OR, when compared to other women of their age group, will be far below average. This early decline of ovarian reserve is called premature ovarian aging (or POA). You can read in detail about diagnosis of DOR hereand POA here (just click on “diagnosis” in the menu on the top of the page).
Is There a Way to Improve Egg Quality?
Egg donation isn’t the only opinion for women with diminished ovarian reserve to conceive. There are new treatments and drugs now used to optimize a woman’s ovaries to produce high quality eggs.
One of these treatments is DHEA (or in full, dehydroepiandrosterone), a mild male hormone that the body converts into testosterone and estradiol). Over the past decade, DHEA use has sky-rocketed. It started off as an experimental treatment in world-renowned infertility clinic, The Center for Human Reproduction (CHR), New York, in 2004. Now it’s used by over 1/3 of infertility clinics around the world. CHR’s Medical Director, Dr. Norbert Gleicher commented that:
DHEA is in the process of revolutionizing infertility care for older women and for younger women with premature ovarian aging.
XRobyn NazarE-mail: email@example.com Info: Posts by the author (37)Posted by RobynNazarRN on July 29, 2013 at 9:00 am
These days it’s not uncommon for a woman to consider having a child when she’s over 40. Actually, according to the Harvard Business Review, it’s more common than ever.
As birth rates for women in their 40s climb to the highest they’ve been in four decades, it’s official – women are choosing to start their families later in life.
For some women, achieving pregnancy over 40 isn’t a problem. However, many women over the age of 40 will struggle to get pregnant naturally. Certain age-unrelated conditions, such as endometriosis, may play a role in an infertility diagnosis for these women, but in a large number of cases diminished ovarian reserve will be the principal cause of infertility for women over 40.
What is diminished ovarian reserve (or DOR)?
A woman’s ovarian reserve is based on the ability of her ovaries to produce high quality eggs – and this ability declines (or diminishes) as she ages. The speed of this age-related decline in egg quality varies among women and because of this some women can still get pregnant without fertility treatment in their 40s. However, the majority of women over 40 years old will lose the ability to produce high quality eggs.
A poor quality egg means a poor quality embryo. Poor quality embryos do not implant easily in the uterus – making it difficult to conceive naturally or even with fertility treatment, if DOR is not diagnosed and treated.
Diagnosis of diminished ovarian reserve
Diagnosis of DOR can be made by a blood test which measures the two hormonal markers of ovarian reserve:
Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)
Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH)
FSH can be taken on the 2nd or 3rd day of a woman’s menstrual cycle. AMH can be takes at any stage during a woman’s cycle. Typically a high FSH level and a low AMH level indicate DOR.
As FSH and AMH levels naturally vary with age, so will what’s considered a high/low FSH/AMH level. On average for the over 40 age group, a low AMH is anything below 1.1ng/ml, a high FSH is anything over 8.4mlU/ml.
Both blood tests indicate the condition of a woman’s ovarian reserve – yet the FSH and AMH levels themselves are not the problem. They are both symptoms of DOR. To effectively treat DOR management must focus on the problem – the ability of the ovaries to produce numerous, high quality eggs.
Treatment of diminished ovarian reserve
In the video below, Dr. Norbert Gleicher, internationally respected fertility specialist, talks about treatment options for women over 40 with diminished ovarian reserve.
Getting pregnant over 40 is possible. With careful management and treatment many women go on to have healthy children. The secret is finding a fertility specialist who specializes in treating infertility in women over 40 – as treatment and management varies greatly from the younger age group who struggle with infertility.
XRobyn NazarE-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Info: Posts by the author (37)Posted by RobynNazarRN on May 3, 2013 at 9:00 am
With correct treatment, women with diminished ovarian reserve can still have an excellent chance of pregnancy with the use of their own eggs.
Dr. Gleicher (a physician at Center for Human Reproduction in New York, NY) explains early and premature menopause, how it is linked to diminished ovarian reserve and the use of DHEA supplementation for improving ovarian reserve.
XRobyn NazarE-mail: email@example.com Info: Posts by the author (37)Posted by RobynNazarRN on April 22, 2013 at 11:04 am
About the Center for Human Reproduction
Center for Human Reproduction (CHR, http://www.centerforhumanreprod.com) is a leading fertility center in New York City. With a worldwide reputation as the “fertility center of last resort,” they tackle the most difficult and complicated infertility cases, offering cutting-edge, research-based treatment options to their patients.
XRobyn NazarE-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Info: Posts by the author (37)Posted by RobynNazarRN on July 26, 2012 at 11:19 am
- By Guest Blogger
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment and egg donation rates have nearly doubled over the last decade in the United States. According to a new study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of women receiving infertility treatments has increased 80.5 percent since the year 2000.
Not only has demand for donor eggs increased, but the number of young female donors and fertility clinics have also been rising across the nation. Field experts credit the upward trend to recent technological developments, larger donor databases and shorter waiting lists for recipients.
In the past, egg donors would get matched with a recipient and then have to synchronize their menstrual cycles – a drug-intensive process that can take months – before transferring the fertilized embryo to the recipient’s womb.
Today, it is becoming more common for an egg donor bank to utilize innovative fast-freezing technology called vitrification. The process has widely expanded the capabilities of infertility treatment by making the viability of frozen eggs nearly equal to that of fresh eggs.
Fertility clinics now have the ability to collect, freeze and store eggs in a diversified donor database, giving egg recipients more choices when undergoing IVF treatment. The end result allows couples to begin treatment without the delays or uncertainties related with traditional donor egg methods.
IVF treatment is also gaining popularity due to higher rates of egg donors. More young females are donating their eggs for fast cash in a lagging economy. The combination of faster treatment technology and larger egg donor banks is speeding up the IVF process, lowering its cost and making it more accessible to couples throughout the nation.