As a woman considering donating her eggs, you may be wondering about the chances that this donation could impact your own future fertility. First of all, know that research shows there will be no link between your donation and any future potential difficulties conceiving and carrying your own children. In fact, new research shows that your donation may not even deplete your egg supply. Here’s why.
Conventional science has long taught women that they are born with all of the eggs they will ever have. The theory has been that women are born with one to two million immature eggs at birth, and slowly lose them over the course of their lifetimes.
Many of those eggs will be lost before puberty sets in through a natural process, which leaves just around 300,000 eggs at the time of puberty. Of those, it is estimated that women may lose as many as a thousand eggs per month over her fertile years. Of the roughly 400 follicles that will reach ovulation over the course of a woman’s fertility (the time spent between puberty and menopause), a woman can expect 20 follicles to mature each month with just one egg being released.
These cells are capable of dividing and generating new eggs. Advanced tools allow scientists to see how many times a cell has divided over its lifetime. If conventional science stands true, all human eggs would have the same number of divisions, as all eggs should be present at birth. However, scientists have found that some of these cells have many more divisions, suggesting that new eggs were forming throughout these women’s lives.
While the research is still new and has only been conducted on mice at this point, it may be true that fertility and egg development may continue long after birth.