Q: My doctor told me that I have diminished ovarian reserve. What is diminished ovarian reserve? And why is it important to know when it comes to infertility?
Diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) is a term applied to a woman who is either (a) running low on oocytes (eggs), or (b) completely out of oocytes by the time she turns 40. It may also indicate impaired oocyte development.
Typically, DOR is a factor in age-related infertility, although a few unlucky women are diagnosed with DOR as young women.
A diagnosis of DOR means that it is much harder for a fertility specialist to medically stimulate the growth of follicles in order to pursue successful infertility treatments including intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization.
DOR is typically a genetic issue -- a woman with DOR is likely to be genetically predisposed to the condition. However, there can be other reasons for DOR, including damaged ovaries related to diseases such as endometriosis or the presence of an ovarian tumor.
Having diminished ovarian reserve doesn't preclude pregnancy; however it does indicate that a woman has a much shorter duration of time in which she can get pregnant with her own eggs. If you are suspected of having DOR or have been diagnosed with DOR, talk with your doctor immediately. An aggressive treatment plan is often best in this situation, and time is of the essence.
Q: How is Diminished Ovarian Reserve Measured?