Do oocyte quality and quantity as measured by antral follicle count decline in parallel?

University of California, San Francisco, California 94115, USA.
Fertility and sterility (Impact Factor: 4.59). 02/2011; 95(2):482-3; discussion 484-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2010.11.052
Source: PubMed


It is clear that with chronological aging both oocyte quantity (ultimately leading to menopause) and quality (pregnancy potential) decline. It is less clear, however, whether these three parameters: chronological age, oocyte number, and oocyte "health," decline in parallel.

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    • "Moreover, the idea that quantity of follicles and oocytes in ovaries impacts fertility is a long-held tenet in reproductive biology (Hunter 1787; Erickson 1966b; te Velde and Pearson 2002). However, the association of AFC with fertility has only recently received interest in human beings (Rosen 2011; Styer and Toth 2011). It is clear that the quantity of follicles and oocytes is highly variable throughout reproductive life spans of adults (see above) and also that oocyte quantity rapidly declines during ageing (Fayad et al. 2004; Kuhn et al. 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Mammals such as cattle, swine, sheep and humans are born with a highly variable number of ovarian follicles and oocytes in the ovaries that dwindle during ageing and are never replenished. This variation in the ovarian reserve is reflected in the numbers of antral follicles in the ovaries at all ages after birth. As numbers of follicles in ovaries are determined during gestation, the role of maternal nutrition and health during gestation (at time of ovarian development in their foetuses) has been investigated as factors that may impact oogonia proliferation and thus follicle numbers post-natally. These studies have found that both nutrition and health impact numbers of follicles in their offspring. The idea that numbers of follicles and oocytes in ovaries impact fertility is a long-held belief in reproductive biology. This has recently been tested in cattle, and it has been shown that cows with a relatively high number of antral follicles in ovaries have higher pregnancy rates, shorter calving to conception intervals and fewer artificial inseminations during the breeding season compared with cows with a lower number of follicles, and similarly, heifers with many follicles had higher pregnancy rates than those with fewer follicles. Studies summarized in this review highlight the importance of the maternal environment during gestation in determining the size of the ovarian reserve in their offspring and also the contribution of the ovarian reserve to subsequent fertility in cattle.
    Reproduction in Domestic Animals 08/2012; 47 Suppl 4(s4):31-7. DOI:10.1111/j.1439-0531.2012.02052.x · 1.52 Impact Factor
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    American Embryo Transfer Association (AETA, 2014); 10/2014

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