5 facts about women’s eggs and fertility
Maybe you have wondered: when is the best time in life to have a baby and when is it too late? And Is it possible to improve egg quality to have better chances of getting pregnant? In this blog post, we have gathered 5 facts about women’s eggs and fertility.
1. How many eggs does a woman have?
Women are born with around 1 to 2 million eggs, but when puberty hits the number of eggs is reduced to between 300,000 and 400,000. For women, the beginning of their fertile period is marked by ovulation and menstruation. Fertility refers to the period in which a woman can get pregnant and give birth.
2. How many eggs does a woman produce each month?
Normally, a woman produces one egg each month during her ovulation. During fertility treatment, it is possible for women to produce more than one egg each month, as hormone injection increases the production.
3. How many eggs does a woman release each month?
After a woman starts her menstrual cycle, one egg is ovulated and about 1,000 (immature) eggs are lost each month. The number of eggs a woman loses each month is not influenced by anything that can be controlled. While this can seem like a lot of eggs to lose each month, do not worry – this is exactly what the female body is designed to do.
Why do women lose eggs during their period?
The immature eggs released during your period are called follicles and only one follicle can evolve into an egg. Creating a baby is a hard process, which requires a high-quality egg. Therefore, many follicles are released at the same time, to make sure that the best quality follicle turns into an egg.
4. How many eggs do women have during their lifetime?
It is difficult to answer how many eggs a woman has left when they reach a certain age. The number of eggs left can differ a lot from woman to woman and it is affected by factors such as smoking and diet. According to this study, women in the following age groups have an average of eggs left:
- How many eggs do women have in their 20s?: In general, your fertility peaks between the late teen years and the late 20s. During this time you have between 150.000 and 300.000 eggs left, which is one of the reasons for the peak in fertility.
- How many eggs do women have in their early 30s?: The decline in fertility continues into your early 30s when the number of eggs drops to around 100.000 to 150.000.
- How many eggs do women have in their late 30s?: At the age of 35, the rate of egg loss increases, which means that you lose more eggs than before. Therefore, your fertility keeps decreasing and you may need help from artificial insemination. The number of eggs you have left is around 27.000.
- How many eggs do women have at 40?: Generally, there is less than a 5% chance of getting pregnant per cycle by the age of 40. On average a woman who just turned 40 has between 5 - 10.000 eggs left.
5. Does the quality of the eggs decrease with age?
Women’s fertility and egg quality decrease with age. When a woman is in her 20s, she is in her best reproductive years. In the 30s fertility declines gradually, especially after the age of 35. It is important to note that the decline in fertility is linked to a normal age-related decrease in the number of eggs that remain in a woman’s ovaries.
There are some things you can do to increase your chances of getting pregnant in your 30s, follow the link to read our blog post on the subject. If you want to have children after the age of 35, you may need to use artificial insemination. Depending on your partner's fertility, you may need to use donor sperm. If you need help from artificial insemination, you can read more on IUI treatment, ICI treatment, IVF treatment, or ICSI treatment by following the links.
Regarding the egg quality, each month before ovulation the eggs begin to divide. With older eggs, the likelihood of errors happening during the division process increases. This can result in eggs containing an abnormal number of chromosomes. Therefore, the chances of having a baby with developmental abnormalities or Down syndrome increase with age. So, the strongest eggs are the ones that are ready to reach maturity when you are in your 20s. The lower quality eggs are the ones that are waiting patiently and remain as you get older.
Can you improve egg quality?
One important factor for the egg quality is, as mentioned, your age. Women in their 20s have around the double amount of good quality eggs compared to women in their mid-30s. You cannot directly improve the egg quality and you cannot do much about getting older, but you can do certain things to improve your fertility. Factors such as not smoking, not drinking large amounts of alcohol daily and maintaining a healthy, stable weight can help to improve your fertility.
Are you ready to have a baby and have you considered using a sperm donor on your way to parenthood, then follow the link to read more about getting pregnant with donor sperm.