• American Infertility Association: www.americaninfertility.com • Resolve: The National Infertility Association: www.resolve.org • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: www.acog.org/ • Infertility in America: www.ivfinamerica.com • Inconceivable: A Woman’s Triumph over Despair and Statistics, by Julia Indichova (Broadway Books)
Our Finite Egg Supply
The maximum number of eggs a woman will ever have in her lifetime is about 5 million, fertility experts say. But that’s when she’s a 5-month old fetus. The majority of those eggs are absorbed during gestation, and at birth the average female child has about 2 million eggs remaining in her ovaries. When a girl begins menstruating, her supply has decreased to 400,000. She has just begun her reproductive life, yet, based on current societal trends, she most likely won’t have a child for at least a decade. Maybe two. By the time most women and couples today are ready to actually “plan” a family, a woman’s egg supply has already dwindled to one-tenth of what it was at birth. We may be able to “turn back the clock” and temporarily halt the effects of time on our faces, our figures, and even our outlook on life. But our biological clock has no reset button.
Approximate Number of Eggs in a Woman’s Ovaries at:
5 months gestation 5,000,000
Age 27 200,000
Age 37 25,000
Menopause (average age: 51) 1,000