IVF for Diminished Ovarian Reserve

By Dr. Kalan on June 28, 2019


Working in a lab with a microscopeBy far, In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most popular fertility procedure that Dr. Marc Kalan and Dr. Nurit Winkler offer. People struggling with male and female infertility reach out to our Los Angeles, CA fertility clinic with so many questions about IVF. Even women who may have issues with the quantity or quality of their eggs could benefit from an IVF cycle.

With this in mind, let’s take a moment to consider the issue of diminished ovarian reserve (DOR). We’ll note a few common causes and discuss various ways IVF can help.

About Diminished Ovarian Reserve

Diminished ovarian reserve is a female infertility issue in which a woman’s ovaries no longer have reproductive potential. This is often due to a lack of viable eggs in a woman’s ovaries, the result of a low egg quantity or poor egg quality.

While egg quantity and quality naturally decreases as women get older, diminished ovarian reserve means that the quality and quantity dip occurs prematurely, as in before the age of 40. The condition affects an estimated 10 percent of women.

What Causes Diminished Ovarian Reserve?

Some of the most common causes of diminished ovarian reserve include:

  • Endometriosis
  • Tubal disease
  • Prior ovarian surgery
  • Toxic chemical exposure
  • Radiation exposure
  • Smoking
  • Chemotherapy

For a some women, the exact cause of their diminished ovarian reserve is unknown, though it likely has something to do with genetics or the environment.

How IVF Can Help

The team at Los Angeles Reproductive Center may recommend IVF to women who suffer from diminished ovarian reserve. There are different ways of performing IVF that may be helpful for a patient struggling with a poor egg count or problems with egg viability.

Traditional IVF Treatment

In a traditional IVF treatment, fertility drugs are used to stimulate the ovaries to produce as many viable eggs as possible. These eggs are then harvested by a fertility doctor. The eggs are fertilized in a lab setting and then transferred to a woman’s uterus to be carried to term. Properly controlling this combination of factors helps boost the chances of successful pregnancy.

Fertility Preservation

Partway through an IVF cycle, fertility doctors may suggest freezing viable embryos. This will be done as an insurance policy in case the initial IVF cycle fails. By preserving viable embryos from a previous cycle, patients with diminished ovarian reserve will not need to take another round of fertility drugs and undergo more egg harvesting. This is an important concern given the possible lack of viable eggs during the cycle.

Egg Donors and IVF

If a woman simply does not have viable eggs to use during an IVF cycle, an egg donor may be considered. The egg donor can be selected based on physical appearance, eduction, career, hobbies, and so forth. This allows women who lack viable eggs of their own to still undergo an IVF cycle and potentially become pregnant.

Developing a Fertility Treatment for Your Needs

As you can see, women who struggle with diminished ovarian reserve need not lose hope. During a consultation at our practice, we will be more than happy to go over your potential candidacy for IVF and why it may be ideal for your goals.

Contact Los Angeles Reproductive Center

For more information on how we can help you address different infertility problems, be sure to contact our team of fertility doctors. Dr. Kalan and Dr. Winkler are here to help. You can reach us by phone at (818) 946-8051.

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