diminshed-ovarian-ageQ: What causes some women to have diminished ovarian reserves in their mid-30s, while other women seem to have a good quality and quantity of eggs in their early 40s?

A: Dr. Marcy Maguire, board certified reproductive endocrinologist with RMA of New Jersey, and Clinical Assistant Professor of Reproductive Endocrinology at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, answered: “There are a number of factors that influence the quantity and quality of a woman’s oocytes (eggs). Age is by far the most influential factor, but other issues, including genetics and environmental exposures play a role as well. Women’s fertility begins to decrease gradually around age 32 and then more rapidly after age 37. While advancing age has the most profound impact on a woman’s egg supply, other issues such as a family history of early menopause or prior ovarian surgery can also be associated with a lower than average ovarian reserve. Environmental exposures, including radiation, chemotherapy, and smoking can have a negative influence as well.”

For more information, you can listen to our radio show titled “Getting Pregnant after 40 (With or Without Fertility Treatment).”


Image credit: Pinstamatic