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Ovaries Have Not Adjusted to Women's Decision to Delay Having Children

by Carolyn Butler,  Washington Post,  Feb 23, 2010
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Whether you are aware of your incessantly ticking biological clock or not, the absolute last thing that any woman of steadily advancing childbearing age wants to hear when she flips on the morning news shows is: Women lose 90 percent of their eggs by age 30.

Thirty? Life has hardly begun at 30! Gulp.

The hard truth is that decades of research have proved that a woman's fertility declines over time. But now it appears that the old biological clock may start ticking much earlier -- and faster -- than once thought.

A study from the University of St. Andrews and Edinburgh University, published last month by PLoS ONE, tracked the human ovarian reserve -- or a woman's potential number of eggs -- from conception through menopause. Using a mathematical model and data from 325 women, the researchers found that the average woman is born with around 300,000 eggs and steadily loses them as she ages, with just 12 percent of those eggs remaining at the age of 30, and only 3 percent left by 40. Read more.


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