10% of infertility issues are related to low ovarian reserve. Depending on your age this may not be pathologic. After a certain age, it is physiologic and eventually occurs in every woman. The generally accepted theory is that as a woman ages, this supply gradually decreases over time until menopause eventually occurs.
When a female is still a foetus, for example, her number of eggs peaks at around 6 – 7 million. This falls to between 1 – 2 million at birth, 300,000 – 500,000 at the start of puberty, and 1,000 at around 51 years old.
Of course, certain factors can accelerate this decrease, including underlying genetics, environmental factors, and medical issues such as endometriosis (when the tissues normally found inside the uterus grow outside it), ovarian surgery, and cancer treatment with chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Essentially, your ‘ovarian reserve’ is your current egg supply, and it is closely related to your potential to reproduce. In general, the more eggs you have left, the better your chances of conception. So, if you have a low ovarian reserve, it may impact your chances of conceiving.
If you’re over 35 or struggling to have a baby, visit your doctor for an ovarian reserve screening. It is often the first step in evaluating fertility while trying to conceive.