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Egg Quality This Easter?

Easter eggs are not the only eggs on people’s mind in this spring as the season sees a height of activity of new life within the natural world, so it’s no wonder that couples instinctively think about starting a family at this time of year.

However, how many of us think about our egg quality when we start trying for a family?

Egg quality is one of the most important factors in whether a woman is able to conceive, but it’s a conversation that many never think about until they are already struggling to get pregnant or when they’ve had multiple miscarriages.

Poor egg quality is one of the most common attributes to infertility, especially in women over 35 and the saying that ‘life starts with an egg’ can’t be truer statement.

Life starts with an egg.

Egg quality is fundamental because it determines not only embryo quality but the ability of the embryo to develop into a healthy pregnancy and ultimately the birth of your new born baby. Poor egg quality is closely associated with chromosomal abnormalities in embryos, also known as aneuploidy. In some cases, aneuploidy can cause birth defects, but more often it results in miscarriage, often at such an early stage that a woman does not even know she was pregnant which can be also be termed a chemical pregnancy.

When a woman is born, it is understood her ovaries already contain a lifetime of eggs. Over the years, the number of these eggs reduce, and egg quality begins to decline, usually in her early thirties. This decline accelerates through the late thirties and early forties and continues until she finally reaches the end of her fertile years.

How do I know that my cycle is Normal or that I have a diminished reserve?

Every woman is unique, and there is no way to predict for certain when someone might start to experience diminished ovarian reserve. In rare cases a woman can go through premature ovarian failure beginning in her early 20s, while at the other end of the scale a particularly fertile woman may not experience any significant decline until her early 40s.

The only way to find out is to have some blood tests to determine your ovarian reserve. These tests are usually carried out by fertility specialists. Checking your egg health can give your peace of mind and help you understand where you stand with ovarian reserve and egg quality when you are ready to get pregnant.

Check your egg health

Early and regular monitoring of your egg quality and quantity is important. Waiting until you are already having trouble may mean losing precious time. This is something we check in our clinic to get an accurate snapshot of your fertility at any given point in time, and can help you make decisions as you move forward with options for you, this may include ‘Is it a good time to freeze your eggs’? ‘What should your timeline for conception be’? Are you likely to need assisted reproductive technologies (ART) to get pregnant?

In IVF, problems with egg quality can mean that the resulting embryos don’t implant, or that the eggs fail to fertilise at all. However, what is confusing to many and a question I am asked very often is, ‘why is it that I have had top grade embryos, yet IVF hasn’t worked? There can be many answers but is it very likely down to the egg quality at a deeper cellular level where the eye cannot see, and science has yet to identify.