LivingHow does the ovarian reserve influence female fertility?

How does the ovarian reserve influence female fertility?

Image: Gynecologist Dr. Rafael Bernabeu attends to a patient. / Instituto Bernabeu Reproductive Medicine Clinic.

Women have the ability to give their lives, except if there is an infertility problem; But let’s not forget that motherhood is not a timeless condition: it expires, and the countdown begins even before birth.

The eggs are not renewed, but women are born with a reserve of all that they will be able to use in their fertile life, and the quantity is decreasing day by day. When the female embryo is only 12 weeks old, it begins to manufacture eggs, and in just 3 months it will have managed to produce 5 to 6 million eggs. Finally, when that woman reaches puberty, she will have between 400,000 and 500,000 oocytes, as pointed out by the Low Ovarian Response Unit of the Instituto Bernabeu Assisted Reproduction clinic.

Once menstruation begins, the woman will begin to progressively lose eggs. Despite the fact that only one oocyte is ovulated a month, a woman will lose between 16 and 24 each day . In addition, the body schedules the release of oocytes of higher biological quality, so that the eggs become of poorer quality over the years. And the fact that women decide to become mothers each time at a later age does not help.

Have you ever wondered why there are so many cases of unwanted pregnancy during adolescence? At this stage, fertility is higher and so is the quality of the eggs in the reserve. In turn, the percentage of abortions and abnormalities in pregnancy is higher as the age of the potential mother increases, since, so to speak, those of lower quality are available.

Motherhood: a long-distance race

The biological conditioning factors of women combined with personal and work needs, which delay the moment of having children, make motherhood a long-distance career.

Scientists agree that female fertility begins to decline gradually from age 25 onwards, and plummets after age 35; Ironically, this is also the favorite time for many women to decide to become mothers for the first time, when they have unknowingly used up their best fertility cartridges. So for those whose dream is to give birth, how do you cope with this heartbreaking paradox of nature?

IBGen IVF: Pharmacogenetics arrives to improve assisted reproduction

Fortunately, modern medicine can respond to the needs of those women who have not only decided to delay the moment of being mothers, but are going through a time that may put their fertility at risk, such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy treatment. for example. For them, Assisted Reproduction offers increasingly personalized solutions.

It must be taken into account that genetics, and also the environment, play a role in the fertile reserve that a woman has: the ovules and their quantity are not the same in women of the same age. That’s where pharmacogenetics comes into play. The researchers, seeking to achieve the best response of the ovaries, associate a type of drug and its dose to the response of the woman’s ovules , in order to optimize the collection of oocytes; a technique they have called IBGen IVF . Thus, the Instituto Bernabeu develops stimulation protocols according to the peculiarities of each patient.

How can I increase my chances of becoming a mother?

As we said, despite the fact that fertility for all women decreases with age in this long-distance race that is motherhood, not all of them present, at the beginning of the countdown, the same quantity and quality of oocytes, nor do they lose them. At the same rhythm. Although genetics also play a role, environmental factors such as tobacco, alcohol, and eating disorders negatively affect the ovarian reserve.

But, without a doubt, the factor that defines a woman’s fertility is her age. For those who consciously decide to delay the moment of having children, egg freezing and gamete cryopreservation are techniques that allow preserving the fertile capacity and biological quality of 25 years, for example, in a pregnancy of more than 35. The Institute Bernabeu is a leader, too, in both techniques.

There is no reason to give up the dream of being a mother. Once again, faced with the limitations of biology, modern medicine can continue to win the game, and each time in more innovative ways.

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