90% of Eggs Gone at Age 30

Submitted by Shelby D Burns Tue 02/02/2010

Studious Woman

The clock is ticking louder than ever a new study shows. If women want children, they are advised to start that family before age 30 at which time 90% of a woman’s eggs are gone.

Even worse, those that remain have diminished quality. While it has been common knowledge that the egg inventory decreased and the quality deteriorated, few had any idea it was this dramatic a drop. According to a new study by the University of St. Andrews and Edinburgh University in Scotland. “Women lose eggs a lot faster than we thought,” Dr. Marie Savard, a contributor to Good Morning America, said.

Even assisted reproductive techniques are more difficult. Only 10% of 40 year old women who attempt IVF will achieve a successful pregnancy with a single attempt. The study looked at 325 women of different ages in the US, the UK and other European countries. By age 30, 90% of the ovarian eggs are gone and by age 40, only three percent of eggs remain, researchers determined.

Women do not create more eggs during their lifetime. At birth, they have all the eggs they ever will stored in their ovaries. There are ways to improve fertility. A healthy lifestyle, a healthy weight, no smoking and reduced stress all contribute to a better ability to get pregnant and maintain that pregnancy. Additionally, women who have more pregnancies remain fertile for longer.

Genetically, some women are born with more eggs although there is no way to tell how many eggs a woman has. The more eggs you have, the longer your fertility and the older you are when menopause starts. Birth control does not effect fertility or the number of eggs.

A woman’s menstrual cycle is also not a predictor of fertility. “Even if you’re on the pill for a long period of time, that doesn’t influence your fertility,” Dr. Savard said. “If you’re planning a family, don’t wait so long,” she said. “It’s life, it’s the truth – we have all the eggs we’re ever going to have and we’d better take good care of them.” Source: ABC News

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