Premature Ovarian Aging (POA) Affects 10% of All Women
The Center for Human Reproduction’s Dr. Vitaly A Kushnir explains that Premature ovarian aging (POA), also known as diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) or low functional ovarian reserve (LFOR) affects 10% of women.
Premature ovarian aging, also known as diminished ovarian reserve or low ovarian reserve, affects about 10% of women, and about 1% of women develop premature ovarian failure, or early menopause as it’s more commonly known. It is quite common in the population. In our practice, we tend to see more of these patients than perhaps many other centers do. Partially because this is our research interest and we’ve been doing this for a long time. We generally define it as the lower tenth percentile of women, so if we were to take 100 women, the women with the lowest ovarian reserve, the 10 lowest women with the lowest ovarian reserve, would be defined as having premature ovarian aging or diminished ovarian reserve. So ovarian reserve reflects the number of oocytes that can potentially be recruited in a particular cycle. Usually a woman brings a group of eggs that are available for recruitment each month, and for young women that is usually more than 10, sometimes even more than 20 eggs and out of those eggs each month, the one best one gets to be selected for ovulation and that one gets to ovulate. The others sort of die off, or vanish, and the next month if the woman doesn’t become pregnant, another group of 10 to 20 eggs should arise. When we’re talking about ovarian reserve, that’s really what we’re talking about, is that group from which the one best one gets selected. In fertility treatments, we have the ability to rescue the other eggs in that group, and so a woman who has a normal ovarian reserve, we can rescue lots of eggs. A woman who has a low ovarian reserve has a relatively smaller group and we can get a lot fewer eggs from her in a given cycle.