If you're planning to delay pregnancy, it is advisable to get the anti-M llerian hormone (AMH) test done. If your ovarian reserve is low, then it is better to opt for egg freezing.
Ovarian reserve is the number and quality of the eggs (oocytes) that a woman has. If one has diminished ovarian reserve, the number and quality of the eggs are lower than expected. Various factors such as pollution, age, stress, smoking, endometriosis, tubal disease, chemotherapy can take a toll on the ovaries and impact them. Those women with a low ovarian reserve may have an infertility problem and can opt for egg freezing.
Women are born with a large number of eggs. By the time she gets her periods, she has only a few eggs left. When her age increases, she keeps getting her periods every month and the ovarian reserve diminishes. Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR) is a low number and quality of the remaining eggs in the ovaries, or even a poor response to ovarian stimulation, leading to infertility in women. There are many reasons behind the low ovarian reserve.
Your lifestyle choices can affect your ability to conceive
"Lifestyle choices have a crucial role in one's ability to conceive," said Dr. Nisha Pansare, Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF Fertility, Pune.
She explained, "Exposure to air pollutants will decrease a woman's ovarian reserve. Anti-M llerian hormone (AMH)is a marker of ovarian reserve. AMH levels tend to decrease with age. Low levels of AHM are associated with environmental pollutants. Even age and smoking tend to impact AMH levels in a negative way. Smoking impacts oocyte quality. Alcohol consumption is also related to ovulatory abnormalities. Not only air pollution, tubal disease, endometriosis, but genetic abnormalities like fragile X syndrome will also disrupt the functioning of the ovaries leading to low ovarian reserve."
Signs that you have a low ovarian reserve
Dr. Padma Srivastava, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Lullanagar, Pune said, "Those women who tend to undergo ovarian surgery, take chemotherapy or radiation therapy and have a pelvic infection, autoimmune disorders may also have a low ovarian reserve. Sometimes, the cause is unknown and can be a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Being overweight or underweight can lead to irregular ovulation."
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She added, "If you have low ovarian reserve then you may have shorter menstrual cycles, heavy menstrual flow, irregular menstrual cycles, miscarriage, or even inability to conceive. Early diagnosis will give a better chance of successful treatment. Diminished ovarian reserve is diagnosed via blood tests that measure follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and anti-M llerian hormone (AMH) levels. Both of these hormones play a pivotal role in menstruation and reproduction."
Egg freezing is a good option if you have a low ovarian reserve
Dr. Pansare suggested that women who are planning to delay their marriage, should get the AMH test done.
"Egg freezing can be a good option for ones with low ovarian reserve. This will help you to plan your pregnancy later on whenever you get a suitable match. You can thaw those eggs, create embryos and conceive without the effect of age on it. If one has a low ovarian reserve then it is better to plan pregnancy via in vitro fertilization (IVF) as it has a good success rate," the doctor added.