Detect Premature Ovarian Aging Before it Happens: 1/10 Women Will Lose Eggs Quicker Than They Should
What’s My Fertility by CHR is a way for younger women to detect fertility problems, including premature ovarian aging or low ovarian reserve, before they try to get pregnant. This helps inform a woman’s decision to freeze eggs.Want to Consult Dr. Gleicher?
The next topic that we feel warrants discussion at the beginning of a new year is the idea of determining what your fertility is as a young woman. This is a very important concept which unfortunately has not been getting the general attention that it deserves, in either the medical literature or in the late press. What is widely overlooked is that 10% of all women, independent of race, ethnic background, what you eat, and what you drink, 10%, one out of every ten women will end up suffering from premature ovarian aging. Meaning that at some point usually starting in the early 20s and becoming clinically overt in the 30s, women start losing eggs quicker than they should and so as it consequence, those 10% of women at any given point from whenever they start that process will have fewer eggs left in their ovaries than the other 90% of women. We call this process premature ovarian aging.
Unfortunately, it’s a quiet process. It’s an insidious process. It is hard to detect unless you actively look for it. Moreover, in young women who use hormonal contraceptives, even minimal symptoms that may occur as a consequence of premature ovarian aging such as changes in menstrual patterns, for example, even though are covered up by the birth control pills or other hormonal contraceptives and so what happens is that women start taking hormonal contraceptives when they’re in the late teens or early twenties, don’t think about it stay on it until one day after having reached the point where they decide it’s time to have a child. They go off their hormonal contraceptives trying to get pregnant and suddenly nothing happens and after nothing happens they go to the gynecologist, and this is the story we’re hearing many times over every single week and their gynecologist does some basic testing and comes back with a surprising finding. That the patient has premature ovarian aging meaning fewer eggs than she should and once that diagnosis is reached and is so obvious that usually means expensive fertility treatments.
So why I’m telling you all of this? I’m telling you all of this because there is a way to detect those who will suffer from premature ovarian aging earlier. We cannot prevent premature ovarian aging. We cannot stop it. But we do know what risk factors increase the chance that the young woman will fall into the 10% rather than the 90% and we can screen young women with a very small number of very basic questions and with two simple blood tests and we can establish with reasonable accuracy whether a woman was no increased risk, is at increased risk for premature ovarian aging, or already suffers from premature ovarian aging. And we call this algorithm, this program, What’s my Fertility.
What’s my Fertility as a program is offered here at CHR, and we suggest that if you are young, if you are in your late teens, or if you are in your 20s, maybe even up to the early thirties, you may want to go through the screening program. You can also go through the screening program by going to www.whatsmyfertility.com and you can work it through the internet. It’s an important program. If you catch ovarian aging early, you suddenly have options, which you no longer have if you’re only diagnosed in your late 30s.
Imagine if you’re diagnosed at age twenty five and somebody tells you you better watch out you have a very high probability of getting premature ovarian aging. Wouldn’t you start thinking about maybe I would have, maybe it’s better if I would have my children early. You would have the choice, and if this is not the choice in your mind then you can freeze your eggs at that young age and we have talked here on videos and in our newsletter many times about the fact that the earlier you freeze your eggs the more successful will those eggs be achieving pregnancy. So freezing eggs at age 25, rather than 35, is worth the effort so think about What’s My Fertility. If you are of this age group, think about getting tested, if you have children, daughters, in this age group, think about having them tested.