Are your ovaries as old as you?

Are your ovaries as old as you?

In days of stress and pollution, low fertility has become a major concern. The culprit is a condition known as diminished ovarian reserve (DOR). Ovarian reserve refers to the reproductive possibility depending on the number of eggs the ovaries produce. Women are born with around two million eggs, but as they age, they start to lose these. At the beginning of puberty, they have around four lakh eggs left and by menopause, they have around a thousand eggs. The quality of eggs also begins to decline with age, reducing the chances for conception.

With age, the natural fertility potential of a woman starts reducing and women in their mid-40s have much lower chances of conceiving than women in their early 30s. But, even much younger women are known to lose their fertility potential due to DOR. The reasons could be genetic defects, endometriosis, smoking, treatments like radiation for cancer etc.

It is not just the chronological age that can affect conception, but also the biological age of the ovaries that can cause premature ovarian failure.

Unfortunately, there are no symptoms of DOR. There is usually a change in menstrual cycles. The length of cycles shortens to nearly 21 days and women at this stage may have menstruation, but no ovulation. DOR can be assessed through blood tests to measure the hormones FSH and Estradiol.

* A good health plan can reduce the chances of poor fertility.

* One needs proper balanced hormonal health and a diet rich in proteins, vitamins B and C is vital.

* Exercising regularly is also good for reproductive health. Exercise increases the blood flow in the body, brings fresh blood to all of the cells and helps to oxygenate the blood.

* Cigarettes and alcohol can damage the eggs. While processed food and high levels of pesticide in the food can also pose a threat.

Dr Prathiba Govindaiah


(The author is IVF and Fertility Specialist, Motherhood Hospitals)

 

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