Whether you are trying to get pregnant soon or planning to wait far into the future, everyone should know the medical facts related to fertility. Here are 5 important facts about your reproductive potential from the physicians at Pacific Fertility Center.
1. Your reproductive potential will never be as good as it is today. That is, it will always decline with age, and it never gets better. That's why the younger you are when you freeze eggs, the better the odds of conceiving with those eggs in the future. Dietary antioxidants may or may not protect eggs from accelerated damage due to aging. In addition to aging, environmental factors such as smoking or chemicals can harm reproductive potential.
2. Your reproductive potential is determined in large part by genetics. The number of eggs you have was set at 5 months of fetal life. There is probably not a lot you can do to substantially improve this potential. However, there is a lot of interest currently in antioxidants working to preserve what potential is currently there.
3. Your reproductive potential is determined by egg quality, not usually by the uterus or other structures. And, when we refer to "egg quality," we mainly mean the ability of any set of eggs to become an embryo with a normal set of chromosomes upon fertilization. Only chromosomally normal embryos can establish a perfectly healthy live birth.
4. General health does not predict your reproductive potential. No amount of exercise or healthy diet – possibly other than a diet high in fruits and vegetables (antioxidants) – is likely to affect your reproductive potential in any substantial way.
5. Your reproductive potential is primarily linked to a woman's age, not her lab results. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH), and estradiol are better predictors of the quantity of eggs a woman might make if she undergoes IVF or egg freezing. Female age is a better predictor of egg quality, or reproductive potential.