Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Eggs are not follicles !

Many infertile women are very confused about the difference between follicles and eggs
Just because they ovulate, they feel they much be producing good eggs every month.

However this is not always true ! Women can have anovulatory cycles - and even ovulatory cycles may be the result of poor quality eggs !

What about those women who are happy that their ultrasound scans for follicle tracking/ ovulation monitoring shows that they grow follicles every month ?

While I agree this is reassuring, it does not mean that the egg quality is fine - especially in an older woman

Remember that the follicle is only the black bubble which the sonographer can track during your scan. Normally, a good follicle ( one which grows at 2 mm per day and ruptures on Day 14 at the time of ovulation) does contain a good egg ( especially if the cervical mucus is good and the endometrial stripe is thick and trilaminar at this time - but this is not always true !

Eggs are microscopic structures , and can only be seen under the stereozoom microscope in the IVF lab when the doctor does an egg retrieval and sends the follicular fluid to the embryologist for scanning

Remember, that :
Not all follicles will contain eggs
Not all the eggs will be mature
Not all the mature eggs will fertilise

There's many a slip twixt the cup and the lip - and this is especially true for older women, whose ovarian reserve declines as they age.

Sadly, they ( and their gynecologists as well !) are often lulled into a false sense of security as a result of the ultrasound scanning. However , if you remember the fact that eggs are not follicles, you'll not fall into this common trap !
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