Factors Influencing Egg Quality
Age plays a key role in determining both the quantity and quality of your eggs. Egg quality tends to decline as you grow older, as does the number of eggs available for use. This means that if you are older, it is likely that you eggs are declining in quality and may be contributing to your fertility problems.
Of course, just because you are older it does not necessarily mean that your eggs are of poor quality. Some older women have good quality eggs while some younger women have poor quality eggs. However, egg quality usually begins to decline when you are in your late 30s and will continue to decline throughout your 40s.
Testing Egg Quality
If you are having troubles becoming pregnant, you may be interested in getting your egg quality tested. Unfortunately, there are no tests that can predict your egg quality with 100% accuracy. However, there are a number of screening tests that can be performed to help predict the number of high quality eggs you have available for fertilization.
Day 3 FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) Test:
The Day 3 FSH test can help to determine the levels of follicle stimulating hormone that are being released in your body. Follicle stimulating hormone is necessary for ovulation to occur. If your levels are elevated, it may indicate that you are nearing menopause, and have fewer quality eggs left.
Clomiphene Challenge Test:
The clomiphene challenge test also measures levels of FSH, only in the form of estradiol. It is more sensitive than the Day 3 FSH test.
Injectable Gonadotropins (FSH):
Actually a treatment for infertility, injecting gonadotropins into your ovaries can also help to predict egg quality. The response that your ovaries make can help to provide information regarding the quality of eggs that you are producing.
In Vitro Fertilization
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is also a treatment for infertility, but like the injectable gonadotropins, it can also help to indicate the quality of your eggs. By examining your eggs during in vitro fertilization, it is possible to determine the makeup, development, and quality of those eggs.
Treating Poor Egg Quality
If you are suffering from poor quality eggs, there are a variety of treatments that may be helpful to you. Ask your health care provider or reproductive endocrinologist about these procedures.
- using fertility drugs, such as bromocriptine and clomiphene
- In vitro fertilization