This is a very important article for me to comment on as a fertility doc. It’s important because I don’t want women thinking after reading this that there is such a thing as an “egg cliff.” Society and the media makes us feel like there is and it just isn’t so. We are born with all the eggs we’ll ever have and we SLOWLY lose them over time. Your rate of egg loss is determined by several things: genetics, environment and lifestyle. Nothing happens all of a sudden at age 35. There isn’t this “egg cliff” that women should be scared/worried about as described in this article. There are women who sadly run out of eggs even in their 20s. It didn’t happen to them overnight. It is a process that takes approximately a decade. Think of it this way: Most of us go through menopause at the age of 50 or so. It’s really hard to get pregnant for the 10 years leading up to that age. That’s why it’s so hard to get pregnant over 40: because the eggs we have left tend to be less viable and unable to turn into a healthy pregnancy.
Rather than talk about an “egg cliff” we need to do a better job as physican educators when patients come in for their annual exams and talk to women about tests they can do to avoid feeling like there is an egg cliff. Talking to women about fertility as if there is such a thing as an “egg cliff” sends the wrong message. Understanding your fertility isn’t something that should cause panic or concern. There are tests you can do (not perfect but all we have right now) that can guide you re: where you are on a fertile meter so to speak. Talk to your doctor and get checked. There’s no reason why you can’t get your fertility hormones checked every couple years just like your cholesterol and understand your fertility better than ever so you feel like you know what decisions you may need to make for yourself re: baby. eggwhisperer.com is something I started so women can empower themselves with information and knowledge so they can never look back and say, “why didn’t anyone tell me!” If you want to use the analogy of an “egg cliff” what you don’t want is to be staring at the edge of the cliff surprised that you’re there.