Author: Dr. Elena Trukhacheva, President and Medical Director of RMI
How Do I Know If My Ovarian Reserves Are Depleting?
- Your menstrual cycle has changed. It can be a sign that you have a smaller supply of eggs and are getting closer to menopause faster than your age-matched peers. If your menstrual cycles have become shorter – 25-26 days instead of 28-30, or you are missing periods every now and then, it might be a red flag.
- You aren’t “really trying” to get pregnant, but you haven’t used contraception for the past 6-12 months…and you’re not pregnant. Infertility is defined as the inability to get pregnant after 6-12 months of unprotected sex.
- Your mother went through menopause early (under the age of 50) and your older sister is having troubles conceiving. Some genes that control ovarian reserve can be defective and lead to early menopause and difficulty conceiving. Your mother and sisters’ reproductive history is a good signal of your own.
- You are older than 35. Yes, you look like you are 22, eat healthy, exercise regularly, and you are in great shape but there is no exercise for the ovaries. The ovaries are only programmed to release healthy eggs until a certain age, and age is the single most important factor for women when reproductive function is concerned.
- You got pregnant several times but had miscarriages in the first trimester. Over time, there is usually a transition from having an ideal reproductive potential and getting pregnant very easily, to taking a longer time getting pregnant with a greater likelihood of losses in the first trimester.
If you meet any or all of these criteria, don’t panic! In many cases, you can still achieve the family of your dreams. In fact, a call or visit to a Reproductive Endocrinologist is likely in order to help determine where you stand and what you can do.