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Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Mar;18(2):58-65. Epub 2007 Feb 1.

Female reproductive ageing: current knowledge and future trends.

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Department of Reproductive Medicine and Gynecology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Over the past few decades, postponement of childbearing has led to a decrease in family size and increased rates of age-related female subfertility. Age-related decrease in ovarian follicle numbers and a decay in oocyte quality dictate the occurrence of natural loss of fecundity and, ultimately, menopause. The rate of this ovarian ageing process is highly variable among women. Identification of women who have severely decreased ovarian reserve for their age is, therefore, clinically relevant. Endocrine and imaging tests for ovarian reserve relate mainly to the quantitative aspect of ovarian reserve, but their capacity to predict the chances for pregnancy is limited. Genetic factors regulating the size of the follicle pool and the rate of its depletion might be identified in the near future and, possibly, assist the accurate prediction of a woman's reproductive lifespan.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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