How many eggs does a woman have?

A woman is born with her stock of eggs, she does not produce eggs like men produce sperm cells. When in the whomb of her mother, she had loads of eggs, of which already a large portion is gone at birth. Later, at the start of our puberty, we have again lost a part of our stock, even before being able to use it for reproduction.

Every month we have more than one follicle growing the first week. In the second week one follicle decides to become the dominant one and ovulates around day 14. All other follicles that did not receive this signal to continue to grow, fade out, which is called atresia. An estimation of the reserve of eggs can be made by day 3 FSH or AMH in bloodsampling and antral follicle count on ultrasound.

Freezing eggs

Patients can sometimes not have met the right partner but do feel they are getting older and hear their biological clock ticking. In that case, social freezing of eggs can be considered. The goal is to have a backup plan for when you do meet the right partner (a little later in life) and spontaneous conception does not seem to work. 

The treatment to freeze eggs is quite similar to that of IVF: hormonal stimulation and egg retrieval.  A few details are different, namely to reduce the OHSS risk (ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome) and there is no immediate emryotransfer, so no luteal support, which often leads to menstrual perio breaking through 1 week earlier, after 7-10days.

Later, when you are older (>40y) and the statistical chance of pregnancy has fallen even more sharply, you can then use the eggs that you have previously frozen.

Freezing eggs is also possible for medical reasons such as cancer treatments, endometriosis, etc.

Go to  overview fertility treatments

The information above regarding fertility is general and may not apply to you.  Every patient is different, so please make an appointment for individual advice.