- Diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) is a condition in which the number of available eggs, also called as ovarian reserve of a woman is decreased or the eggs are of poor quality causing infertility.
- Ovarian reserve can also be considered as the biological clock and usually by menopause the biological clock stops but this decrease in eggs can vary from woman to woman.
- Epidemiologically, 10% of women undergo into early menopause before the age of 46, and it is estimated that 10% of women in the general population might be at risk of early ovarian ageing.
- Women are born with around 2,000,000 eggs, which are all the eggs they’ll ever have. Eggs are continuously lost, so by the onset of puberty most women have around 400,000 eggs left. By late 30s this number will have further declined to around 27,000. At the onset of menopause most women only have around 1,000 eggs left in their ovaries which are of poor quality and pregnancy with such poor quality eggs can lead to miscarriage due to chromosomal abnormalities
- Aging is the primary cause of diminished ovarian reserve, but DOR can also be caused by genetic abnormalities, smoking, surgeries of ovary and some medical treatments like chemotherapy
- Ovarian reserve of a woman can be estimated by hormonal tests and ultrasound imaging
- No treatment can stop the process of diminished ovarian reserve, but women who are infertile due to low egg count or quality can achieve pregnancy with the help of assisted reproductive technologies
- Ultimately, time is the most important factor with DOR, and the sooner it is diagnosed, timely intervention can be initiated
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