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Birla Fertility & IVF

What Are the Signs of Bad Egg Quality

  • Published on January 10, 2023
What Are the Signs of Bad Egg Quality

Egg quality contributes to a woman’s fertility and her ability to become pregnant. Improved egg quality increases the chance that the egg will develop into an embryo, implant in the uterus, and lead to a successful pregnancy.

The eggs or oocytes play an important role in female fertility. They are located inside the ovaries and contained in follicles, which are tiny sacs filled with fluid. These follicles grow in size as the eggs develop and mature.

When an egg or oocyte matures, the mature egg is released out of the ovary. 

There are various signs of bad egg quality, which can indicate that there is an issue with the quality of eggs being produced. 

Since egg quality plays a key role in fertility, it’s important to know the signs that indicate bad egg quality. Keep reading to know the signs of bad egg quality. 

1. An abnormal number of chromosomes 

An abnormal chromosome number may be one of the signs of bad egg quality. 

Usually, an egg has 23 chromosomes. When it is fertilised by a sperm (which also has 23 chromosomes), the embryo that is formed will have 46 chromosomes, which is the normal amount. When egg quality is normal, it means the chromosomes are normal.

If eggs are abnormal or of poor quality, the number of chromosomes will be less than or more than the normal number. These eggs are called aneuploid eggs.

If conception occurs with this egg, the embryo that forms will have an abnormal number of chromosomes. 

2. Chromosomal disorders 

Chromosomal disorders may be one of the signs of bad egg quality.

When the age of a woman increases, there is often an increase in the number of aneuploid eggs produced. This may result in chromosomal disorders where there are extra copies of chromosomes or abnormal chromosomes.

For this reason, chromosome disorders can be a sign of poor egg quality. 

3. Low FSH reserves  

Low reserves of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) can indicate that the eggs are decreasing in quality. FSH is the hormone secreted by the pituitary gland, which signals the ovaries to make an egg every cycle.

As the egg quality reduces, they become more resistant to FSH, and it requires more FSH. This leads to higher levels of FSH in the body (and low FSH reserves), which is one of the signs of bad egg quality and will be considered in an egg quality test.

This will also be considered when determining how to improve egg quality

4. Low levels of estradiol

Low levels of estradiol are also one of the signs of bad egg quality. Estradiol is the hormone that happens to communicate signals from the ovaries to the brain.

When E2 levels increase, the ovarian follicles are stimulated to grow. If the E2 levels are high at an early stage of the cycle, it can indicate that the ovaries are releasing it early and that the egg quality is reduced.

5. Low levels of anti-mullerian hormone (AMH)

Low levels of AMH may be one of the signs of bad egg quality.

AMH is a glycoprotein that is released by the cells of eggs in their initial stage of development. It stimulates the eggs to mature and helps develop them. 

AMH level is one of the first indicators as it reduces before the FSH levels increase. Low AMH is one of the key signs of bad egg quality as it is directly produced by the ovaries as compared to FSH, which is produced in the pituitary gland. 

Low levels of AMH may indicate issues with the quality of the eggs in an egg quality test and will be considered when determining how to improve egg quality

6. Low Follicle Count 

A low follicle count can be one of the signs of bad egg quality. This can be determined by transvaginal ultrasound, in which the follicle count is assessed by counting the number of follicles between four and nine millimetres in the ovaries.

A lower number of follicles could indicate problems with egg quality and quantity. 

7. Irregular period cycle and difficulty conceiving 

If you are facing issues conceiving and have not been able to conceive for a while now, it could be one of the signs of bad egg quality. Irregular periods or abnormally long cycles can indicate that there are issues with ovulation.

These may occur because the eggs are not forming properly or because they are of lower quality, so they do not reach the phase of ovulation. 

8. Miscarriages

Having multiple miscarriages may be one of the signs of bad egg quality. It could indicate that the eggs being produced are aneuploid or abnormal.

While such foetuses are usually prevented from implanting in the uterus, abnormal eggs may still implant. In cases like that, it may result in a miscarriage.

Multiple factors may lead to a miscarriage. However, multiple miscarriages may be a strong indication of an underlying issue with egg quality. 

9. Age 

Age is another factor that affects egg quality, and a woman’s age can be one of the signs of bad egg quality. Even if you don’t have other symptoms of poor egg quality, your age can be a clear indicator. Your gynaecologist will assess the quality of your eggs accordingly.

Usually, if you are above 35 years old, it is likely that egg quality is reduced. However, this is not always the case, and your gynaecologist may suggest further testing. 

Conclusion

Being aware of the signs of bad egg quality is helpful because it enables you to get an indication of whether you need to see a gynaecologist. Bad egg quality can affect your fertility, so it is important to be mindful of the symptoms.

In case you experience signs of bad egg quality, it is best to visit a gynaecologist or fertility specialist who can advise you on how to improve egg quality and other treatment options.

FAQs

1. Can you fix poor egg quality?

In case you experience signs of bad egg quality, you can consider different treatment options for egg quality. Poor egg quality can be assessed through an egg quality test and treated with fertility treatments and medications.

Another treatment is in vitro fertilisation or IVF.

Your gynaecologist or fertility specialist may also suggest how to improve egg quality through lifestyle changes such as a fertility diet to improve egg quality

2. What causes poor egg quality?

Poor egg quality may be caused by various factors, such as an abnormal number of chromosomes and chromosomal disorders. The factors include age (usually above 35 years), genetic disorders, and other health conditions like endometriosis.

The cause can be better determined through an egg quality test.  

3. How can you tell a woman’s egg quality?

There are different ways to assess a woman’s egg quality based on the signs of bad egg qualityEgg quality tests can include hormonal tests for FSH, estradiol, and AMH. It can also be assessed with a transvaginal ultrasound. This can serve as an indicator of how to improve egg quality

Written by:
Dr Divya Shandilya

Dr Divya Shandilya

Dr Divya is a knowledgeable and compassionate gynecologist and infertility consultant with experience, dedication and discretion. With 10+ years of experience in clinical practice, she has proven ability to assess and investigate patient symptoms and make critical decisions for their treatment. Her thorough knowledge in sexual health and reproductive medicine and experience in various infertility conditions makes her a valuable addition to our expanding team of fertility experts. Dr. Divya Shandilya has always been passionate about the Obstetrics and Gynecology branch with special interest in the field of Infertility. Which is why she has been associated with some of the most recognized names in the field like Cloudnine Hospital, Noida, as a fertility consultant gynecologist, Indira IVF, Ghaziabad as Functional center head, PMMH (Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya Hospital, Govt. NCT of New Delhi) as senior resident OB GYN. Her core training in this field has also been under very reputed hospitals of India.  

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