Tuesday, February 02, 2010

90% Egg Loss By 30

A new British study found that, on average, women had lost about 90% of their egg-producing capacity by 30, and had lost about 97% by age 40.

This is in addition to earlier findings that the remaining eggs are more likely to be damaged the older they are.


randy said...

what is the optimum age for Primagravida from a biological standpoint? early 20s?

yet in some cultures women have their 1st kid around age 20 and just keep poppin' em out year by year for the next decade and a half or evren longer. its as if starting early makes it easier to have a whole passel o' younguns.

funny how its almost UNIMAGINABLE that a normal, sane, adjusted, educated, middle-class couple would choose to have a dozen or MORE progeny. yet that used to be the desiderata. the more kids the better.

Julianne said...

As a 34 year old who just had her first baby and wants more, this was a completely depressing things to read first thing in the morning.

Gruntled said...

Biologically speaking, the early twenties are good time to start having kids. And starting in your twenties does seem to reduce the risks for later kids in your 30s.

A dozen is not practical outside of farm life. Three, though, is a perfectly sensible number even for educated, middle-class women with careers.

And yes, Juliane, I find the facts a little scary for my students who are imaginining that they have decades to have kids. You, though, came through the storm successfully.

Anonymous said...

This article really is meaningless without additional benchmarks.

As the article mentions, women are born with every egg that will ever be available in their ovarian reserve. What portion of this reserve is gone by the time a woman begins to ovulate? What portion is gone by age 20? Age 25? And so on.

To determine how much fertility is diminished by age 30, you have to understand how much fertility actually existed during the age that you are claiming is the most fertile (early 20s, according to your comments). After all, the measure of how much fertility has actually declined should not be a measure of what portion of the ovarian reserve has disappeared since birth, but how much has diminished since peak fertility.

Diane said...

I am a little skeptical of this study. I had kids without problem in my thirties and know many people who did. I'm sure our fertility was lower, but not by 90%.

Gruntled said...

It only takes one good egg to have a baby. Fertility loss does not show up intelligibly in one person, only in a large population.