A woman's body selects the best eggs for conception throughout life, study says
This study hopes to reassure those in advanced maternal age that each woman's body is equipped with the capacity to select the best few hundred out of millions of eggs to mature for conception
As we wait patiently for the perfect partner to have a family with, it seems our bodies do so, too. While waiting for the perfect time to conceive, our bodies select the best possible candidates---hundreds among millions of eggs---to bring to maturity for conception.
A new study claims this and more, believing that this process balances out fertility with possible DNA disorders or miscarriages.
"Our findings suggest that the ovary of a newborn girl already contains both 'good' eggs and those destined to give rise to Down syndrome or miscarriages," says Alex Bortvin of the Carnegie Institute in Michigan to Medical Daily. "Further study may show that these 'good' cells are ovulated first and the abnormal ones usually come later."
Once a baby girl is born, she already loses 80 percent of immature eggs, says Carnegie Science. This new study provides more insight as to why this happens.
The study's authors shed light on the role "fetal egg death" plays in producing "jumping genes," or genes that mutate DNA to influence embryo development.
It's important to note that jumping genes are made up of ingredients to conceive a healthy baby, so it's harmful for sperm and eggs. But it may be a "blessing in disguise" as it may play a role in making genes stronger and better, with better chances of survival.
Another study conducted by the University of Edinburgh claims to have found evidence that ovaries can grow new eggs well into adulthood by observing the effects of certain drugs on the ovaries of cancer patients. By obtaining biopsies, they noted how the ovaries seemed to have produced new eggs, contrary to the widely held belief that women have a set number of eggs throughout life.
Though further studies are needed, this seems like a start to "new fertility treatments or (ways to) extend women’s reproductive span by replenishment of the ovaries with new follicles."
Those over 35 or in advanced maternal age can take heart knowing that new scientific discoveries reassure us that motherhood is still possible.
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