Can you still get pregnant with low egg count?
Low egg count does not make pregnancy unachievable but makes it difficult to happen. Although egg count decreases in every ageing woman, in some woman egg count shrinks at an early age, this situation marks the condition of poor ovarian reserve. A woman who has a low egg count can opt for fertility treatment.
Age-wise average egg count
It’s an interesting fact that a female is born with a pool of oocytes. These oocytes are supplied by her ovaries every month when she starts mensurating. Learn an eye-widening fact that all of your eggs were formed while you were in your mother’s womb. This pool of eggs inside your body is termed as an ovarian reserve. Your ovarian reserve starts decreasing with time. What should be an average egg count at a particular age?
- At birth 1 to 2 million oocytes
- At puberty 300,000 to 500, 000 oocytes
- At age 35 and above 25,000 to 40,000 oocytes.
- At menopause less than 1,500 oocytes.
The above-mentioned numbers are not constant in every female, it varies. An average egg count is measured by the hormonal level check via a blood test. Ovarian reserve testing is also performed to determine the average oocyte count.
What causes low egg reserve?
Ageing is a vital known reason of low reserve of oocytes but there are several other factors too which contribute into this condition.
- Ovarian surgery due to any reason.
- Blockage of ovaries or ovary impairment
- Nonfunctional ovary.
- Genetic disorders such as fragile X chromosome syndrome
- Autoimmune condition
- Smoking, tobacco, alcohol
- Pelvic disease or infection
Symptoms of low ovarian reserve
Sometimes there is no noticeable signs of low ovarian reserve symptom but the following indicators can be alarming
● Unsuccessful pregnancy attempts.
● Absent or irregular menstrual periods.
● Heavy menstrual flow
● Multiple miscarriages
Although these symptoms are not always present if you are having difficulty in conception then you must visit your doctor.
How do you know that you have low egg reserve?
Ovarian reserve testing is done to estimate the number of eggs as well as the upcoming fertile years. These tests also determine whether you require fertility treatment or you can achieve pregnancy without treatment.
Ovarian reserve testing includes:
● Hormonal level testing of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and Anti- Mullerian hormone (AMH).
● Antral follicle count (AFC) by a vaginal ultrasound to check the ovarian volume as well as to count follicles present in the ovaries.
Females dealing with low ovarian count show higher FSH levels, low AMH levels, and low AFC in comparison to other females of the same age. These tests are not done to predict the chances of pregnancy but to determine the chances of response toward ovarian stimulation medication.
Treatments of low egg reserve
● A woman with low egg reserve can achieve pregnancy after minor or major treatments. Some versatile treatments to overcome this condition are:
● Supplements of a mild androgen DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone). DHEA naturally produces in the female body but with time its production reduces. DHEA is required to increase fertility.
● IVF with low ovarian reserve In vitro fertilization (IVF) by using own frozen eggs or by donor eggs. IVF treatment is a very successful treatment to achieve pregnancy.
● Folic acid is a major part of prenatal vitamin that improves egg quality. In an ideal conditions, you should start taking prenatal supplements three months before your pregnancy attempts.