Diminished ovarian reserve
A woman’s ovaries naturally produce eggs, which are stored in the ovaries. These eggs gradually deteriorate over time and the process is called ovarian aging. As a woman ages, her chances of becoming pregnant decreases. The process of testing for diminished ovarian reserve is done to find out if a woman has an increased risk of infertility because of age or other factors.
What is Diminished Ovarian Reserve?
Diminished ovarian reserve is a condition in which the ovaries produce few eggs, or the eggs are of poor quality. The decline in ovarian reserve is usually gradual and can be caused by a number of factors, including age, genetics, lifestyle choices or other medical conditions.
Women who have had one or more pregnancies may also experience decreased production. The ovaries can also be damaged as a result of certain conditions such as pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis or cancer treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Women with diminished ovarian reserve often have difficulty conceiving naturally. It is also known as diminished egg supply.
Testing for Diminished Ovarian Reserve
Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR) is a condition where the ovaries are not producing as many eggs as they should. A woman’s fertility will start to decline when she reaches age 35, but in some cases, it can happen earlier.
The first step of testing for DOR is to undergo an ovarian reserve test. This test involves measuring the levels of FSH and estradiol hormones in a woman’s body. There are two types of tests that can be used: one is a blood test and another is an ultrasound scan. The blood test measures FSH levels by taking blood samples every day for three days.
The blood test will measure how much follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is present and how much anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) is present. These hormones are produced by cells in the ovary and they can be used to assess how well a woman’s ovaries are functioning.
If the FSH levels are high, it can be an indication of DOR.
Symptoms of Diminished Ovarian Reserve
It is important to know the symptoms of diminished ovarian reserve in order to be aware of the risks and take preventative measures.
The symptoms are:
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Decreased fertility
- Premature menopause
- Other Menstrual irregularities ( such as less flow)
- Damage to the ovaries due to chemotherapy or radiation treatment
- Repeated miscarriages
- Family history of premature menopause or infertility (in a mother or sister)
Causes of Diminished Ovarian Reserve
Diminished Ovarian Reserve can be caused by a number of different factors. These include age, genetic factors, environmental toxins, and chronic health conditions.
While there might be many possible causes of diminished ovarian reserve, we have discussed just the common ones:
- Age: The older a woman gets, the less likely she is to produce eggs.
- Weight: Being overweight or obese can cause a woman’s ovaries to stop working properly.
- Smoking: Smoking can cause the ovaries to stop working properly and can lead to early menopause.
- Hormones: Hormones like birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy can lead to diminished ovarian reserve.
It is also important to understand the risks associated with diminished ovarian reserve because it can lead to infertility or other health problems.
Risk Factors Associated with Low Ovarian Reserve
Low ovarian reserve affects 10% of the female population by the time they are in their late 30s. This condition can lead to problems with fertility and cause ovulation to stop.
The risk factors of low ovarian reserve include:
- Early menopause
- Premature ovarian insufficiency
- Poor response to ovarian stimulation
- Low number of follicles in response to stimulation
- Low number of eggs retrieved during egg retrieval surgery
Treatment Options for a Low Ovarian Reserve
The treatment options for a low ovarian reserve depend on the age, health, and lifestyle of the woman. The doctor will discuss with her the risks and benefits of each treatment option before recommending a plan.
There are three major options available to women with low ovarian reserves:
- Hormone therapy – This is given to stimulate ovulation or increase production of eggs. It includes giving estrogen and progestin to stimulate the ovaries to produce more eggs. The hormone therapy can be administered in different ways, including oral medication, injections, or patches. Note that the therapy will not work if the woman has other issues that are interfering with her fertility such as endometriosis or PCOS.
- In vitro fertilization (IVF) – This is an assisted reproductive technique that allows fertilization to happen outside the body. The main goal of IVF for low ovarian reserves is to increase the number of eggs in the ovaries. This is often achieved by stimulating the ovaries with hormones. The eggs are then removed from the body and fertilized with sperm outside it, before being put back inside.
- Egg freezing – This is a process in which eggs are frozen and stored for future use when they are needed. This process is often referred to as “egg banking” or “social egg freezing.” The eggs can be stored for up to 10 years, and when they are thawed and fertilized with the partner’s sperm, they have the same success rates as fresh eggs.
- Clomid (clomiphene citrate) – Clomid (clomiphene citrate) is a medication that is used to stimulate ovulation in women who are not ovulating due to low ovarian reserves. It is used for the treatment of infertility in women with ovulatory disorders, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, or those who have been unsuccessful with other fertility treatments. The drug may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Side effects of Clomid include hot flashes, headaches, nausea, vomiting, mood swings and abdominal pain. Some side effects are temporary and disappear after you stop taking the drug; others may be long-term or permanent.
Recommendations for Women with Low Ovarian Reserves : Consult with Risaa IVF today
Women with low ovarian reserves have a very small number of eggs left in their ovaries. This is often because they have gone through menopause or because they have been diagnosed with premature ovarian aging.
The first recommendation for women with low ovarian reserves is to consider IVF treatment. This treatment will help them get pregnant and give them the opportunity to start a family in a natural way.
The second recommendation for women with low ovarian reserves is to freeze their eggs as soon as possible. If you want to give yourself the best chance of getting pregnant, it’s important that you start freezing your eggs when you are still fertile.
Risaa IVF is a fertility clinic that offers personalized care and treatments for women with low ovarian reserves. They offer consultations, egg freezing, and a variety of other treatments.
The IVF experts at Risaa IVF also provide recommendations to women with this condition. They may recommend to have hormones levels checked and if needed, undergo an ultrasound to check the size of their uterus and ovaries.
If you have been facing symptoms of this condition, then do not delay to get yourself tested. Call us today to book your consultation.