Fertility Topics Explained from the Experts at SFS
It is inevitable reality that all women will at some point or another, experience a progressive decline in their reproductive potential. This occurs as their ovarian egg population falls below a theoretical threshold. Ultimately once it is all but depleted, a total cessation of ovulation and menstruation (the menopause) ensues making the chance of having a baby with own eggs virtually impossible. This decline in so called “ovarian reserve” usually starts when the women reaches her mid-thirties, accelerates she approaches and enters her 40’s, ending with the onset of menopause. In a small but significant percentage of women, the process of diminishing ovarian reserve (DOR) commences much earlier, often leading to premature menopause occurring, before the age of 40 years. Ultimately however, it is not only ovarian reserve that affects the woman’s reproductive potential, but also the “competency” of her eggs (i.e. their potential, upon fertilization to propagate embryos that have the potential to develop into normal offspring) The term “biological clock” refers to the impact of both these factors on the woman’s reproductive potential.
The role of embryo banking: The introduction of embryo karyotyping (using PGS) has opened the door to older women as well as those with DOR accumulating numerous competent (PGS-normal) embryos over multiple IVF cycles of stimulation. Since such euploid embryos (regardless of their often having been derived from older women), usually display comparable viability to those derived from younger counterparts. The process, referred to as Embryo Banking offers such women whose “biological clocks” are fast running out of time, the only realistic option of still having a baby with their own eggs. For those who have very severe DOR , Egg Donation-IVF represents the best recourse
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