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'Egg'cellent Information

Why is 40 the new 30 when it comes to looks, but not fertility? Why does the window for having babies seem to close so quickly?

For women, our eggs just don't stay "fresh." The conventional theory is that women are born with all of the eggs they will ever have (unlike men, who keep producing sperm). As you age, your egg supply diminishes. In addition, the quality of the eggs declines — more of the eggs have chromosomal abnormalities — aneuploidy — that decrease your chance of getting pregnant and increase your chance of miscarriage.

The quantity and quality of your eggs are known as your ovarian reserve. Even young women can have premature ovarian aging or premature ovarian failure.

The good news? Some fertility doctors have found success treating premature ovarian aging. In addition, new research into oocyte stem cells is challenging the idea that women are born with all the eggs they will ever have, and research into new fertility treatments is underway.

In the future, 40 may be the new 30 after all.

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