In Vitro Fertilisation and Egg Reserve: do women use up their egg reserves following several IVF treatments?

A question that is often asked at consultation sessions for assisted reproduction is if a patient can use up their egg reserve following several IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) treatments, and undergo early menopause.

When women are young (under 35), with each menstrual cycle they develop lots of follicles in their ovaries and generally produce one dominant follicle. With increased age, the follicle reserve declines and fewer follicles are produced.

During In Vitro Fertilisation, all follicles growing at the time of ovulation are used. Normally the follicles that don’t become dominant slow down and die.

During IVF treatment the ovaries are stimulated using FSH injections, which makes a larger number of follicles grow, and not just one dominant follicle. Therefore, during IVF treatment, women do not use up the total number of remaining eggs but instead use all the eggs that would have been lost in one month.

Patients who are going to embark upon fertility treatment can rest assured that they will not undergo early menopause due to IVF.

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