Author(s): Broekmans FJ, Knauff EA, te Velde ER, Macklon NS, Fauser BC
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Abstract Over the past few decades, postponement of childbearing has led to a decrease in family size and increased rates of age-related female subfertility. Age-related decrease in ovarian follicle numbers and a decay in oocyte quality dictate the occurrence of natural loss of fecundity and, ultimately, menopause. The rate of this ovarian ageing process is highly variable among women. Identification of women who have severely decreased ovarian reserve for their age is, therefore, clinically relevant. Endocrine and imaging tests for ovarian reserve relate mainly to the quantitative aspect of ovarian reserve, but their capacity to predict the chances for pregnancy is limited. Genetic factors regulating the size of the follicle pool and the rate of its depletion might be identified in the near future and, possibly, assist the accurate prediction of a woman's reproductive lifespan.
This article was published in Trends Endocrinol Metab
and referenced in Reproductive System & Sexual Disorders: Current Research