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J Reprod Med. 2006 Mar;51(3):157-63.

Fertility and a woman's age.

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Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


Women show a progressive decline in fecundity as they pass through the reproductive years. The decline in fecundity can be attributed to numerous potential causes, including changes in oocyte quality, the frequency and efficiency of ovulation, sexual function, the health of the uterus and the risk of pregnancy complications. Screening women for their ovarian reserve uses a number of biochemical and imaging strategies that have a limited ability to predict the likelihood of pregnancy with or without fertility treatment. Consideration of the decline infertility as a woman ages is an important and integral part of health care for women. Physicians and other caregivers must continue to counsel women about their potential fertility as they age, whether or not they are actively seeking pregnancy.

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