The Fertility Center of Las Vegas

Diminished ovarian reserve: Causes and treatment

As you age, the supply of eggs you are born with begins to slowly decline. Each month, the ovaries prepare multiple eggs for ovulation, and typically only one matures enough to be released. Through the years, a woman’s egg supply declines naturally, and some women experience a decline earlier than normal. This common cause of infertility is called diminished ovarian reserve.

In addition to the natural process of age-related egg supply decline, many factors can affect your ovarian reserve:

  • Genetic causes, such as Fragile X syndrome
  • Surgeries for ovarian cysts or endometriosis
  • Injuries to the ovaries due to endometriosis or pelvic infection
  • Exposure to chemotherapy or radiation

In some women with diminished ovarian reserve, the cause is unexplained.

Your Las Vegas fertility specialist will perform a thorough evaluation of your egg supply to find out if your infertility is caused by diminished ovarian reserve. This diagnosis doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to have a baby, but it does provide valuable information to help your fertility specialist plan a course of treatment that will increase your chances of a successful pregnancy.

Diminished ovarian reserve and IVF

Your Las Vegas fertility specialist can pinpoint diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) based on a combination of blood tests and an ultrasound study of your antral follicle count. While there’s no way to reverse diminished ovarian reserve, advanced fertility treatments can help many women with DOR have a baby or preserve their fertility for the future.

  • For most women with DOR who wish to have a child, IVF is recommended. Because women with very low ovarian reserve may not respond as well, higher doses of ovarian stimulation medications may be necessary to produce enough eggs for fertilization.
  • About 1% of women experience menopause before they turn 40, a condition called premature ovarian failure, or premature menopause. If you are in menopause or your egg supply is very low, you may wish to consider IVF with donor eggs.
  • If you’re diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve but aren’t ready to try for a baby, your fertility specialist may recommend freezing your eggs as soon as possible to preserve your fertility. When you’re ready to try for a pregnancy, your eggs can be thawed and fertilized to create embryos, which can then be transferred to your uterus.

Don’t wait to get answers

Our Las Vegas fertility center has helped countless women overcome this common cause of infertility to become mothers. Because diminished ovarian reserve becomes more of a problem over time, it’s important to get tested quickly if you’ve been trying to become pregnant for a year without success. If you’re older than 35, see a fertility specialist right away if you’ve been trying for six months or longer.

To begin a comprehensive fertility evaluation, contact us today to make an appointment with a Las Vegas fertility specialist.