Egg Quality as You Age
Unfortunately, egg quality also changes over time. As you age, your eggs become weaker, and less able to form a healthy embryo.
Your eggs also begin to decrease in number, leaving fewer and fewer quality eggs available for fertilization. A woman of 40 typically has lower egg quality than a woman of 20.
This is not to say that your eggs are of poor quality just because you're aging. Many younger women have poor quality eggs while some older women have very high quality eggs. On average however, egg quality does decline with age.
Complications of Poor Egg Quality
Poor egg quality can lead to a variety of complications, including:
- unexplained infertility
- IVF or IUI failure
- repeated miscarriages
- chromosomal abnormalities
Testing Fertility Loss as You Age
If you are having troubles conceiving there are some tests available that can help to determine your egg quality. Speak with your reproductive endocrinologist for further details.
Day 3 FSH Testing
Day 3 FSH testing is a test designed to measure follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). FSH is a hormone that helps to stimulate the growth of your eggs. Through a simple blood test, your FSH levels can be determined and used to help analzye your egg quantity. This test is performed on the second or third day of your menstrual cycle.
Treating Fertility Loss as You Age
If you are having difficulties getting pregnant and fear that your infertility may be due to the ageing process, you do have some options.
Fertility drugs can help to increase the number of eggs that your ovaries release every month. This can help to increase your chances of becoming pregnant. There are a wide variety of fertility drugs available through your fertility clinic. Commonly used medications include clomiphene and menotropins.
In-vitro fertilization can be used to help retrieve viable eggs from your ovaries and implant them in your uterus. A number of eggs will be surgically aspirated from your ovaries. These are then fertilized using your partner's sperm. Once fertilization has taken place, a number of embryos are implanted into your uterus.