During her lifetime, a woman produces between 300 and 400 eggs. At each cycle, 1 to 3 of them are released into the fallopian tubes. In fact, even before this reproductive cell is emitted for a possible fertilization, it has already travelled a long way .
By the 4th month of pregnancy, between 2 and 5 million oocytes are already present in the ovaries of the foetus. They begin to degenerate in the last months of intrauterine life to only 1 million at birth. At puberty, the ovarian reserve already has only about 400,000 oocytes left, and this “stock” will continuously decrease until menopause.
During each cycle from puberty onwards, an average of 30 oocytes will attempt to mature to become a dominant egg. Only 1 to 3 of the 30 will go as far as ovulation. On average, 500 of them will reach ovulation from puberty to menopause and 99.9% are evacuated without being able to accomplish their mission.
Ovarian failure is therefore the natural decrease in the production of oocytes by the ovary (and therefore ovulation) until permanent cessation (menopause).
Come read our article on perimenopause here!
In a “natural” development of the ovarian reserve, a woman will have on average:
2-5 million at 5 months of intrauterine life
1 million at birth
400,000 at puberty
25,000 at 37.5 years old
10,000 at 40 years old
1000 at menopause.
As the main cause of age-related female infertility, this decrease in oocytes varies from woman to woman. Some can face an accelerated follicle loss (usually for reasons of genetic origin) that can lead to premature ovarian failure (POF) or even early menopause. This deficiency is often diagnosed if there is difficulty in procreating, well before the average age of menopause, which is of 51 years old in France.
In its complete form, POF combines amenorrhoea, symptoms of oestrogen deficiency, and high levels of gonadotropins before the age of 40. The term “insufficiency” means that ovarian function is not normal, but does not necessarily imply total cessation of ovarian function. About 5 to 10% of women are still able to become pregnant soon after being diagnosed.
When a woman is diagnosed with premature ovarian failure, she continues to have her period, which sometimes becomes irregular. In this case, there is nothing better than Réjeanne menstrual panties to comfort you in the pain of menstruation or in the disappointment of not being pregnant.