Ovarian Health and Physical Health don’t go hand in hand!

Many young women today are active and in top physical condition. Because they're flexible, supple, and able to run marathons, they also automatically assume that their egg health is also good, and their ovaries will be in good condition, as a result of which they will be able to have babies without any problems at all. However, they seem to forget that there's very little correlation between physical health and ovarian health because your body's calendar has no correlation with your ovarian biological clock. This is why we often see 37-year-old women who are extremely fit, with very regular menstrual cycles, who find to their dismay and shock that they have a poor ovarian reserve.

The problem is they only find this bitter trust out when they actually try having a baby, and their doctors check their blood AMH level and antral follicle count and then tell them - I'm sorry, your eggs are too old for you to be able to have a baby with them.

They are distraught, and just can't understand how this is possible, given the fact that they have such a healthy lifestyle and are in good physical shape. They just can't understand why they've run out of eggs!

They need to learn to be kind to themselves and understand the basic biological fact that the ovarian clock has nothing to do with the body’s clock. These are two completely different things, and there is no correlation between them because the ovaries age much faster than any other organ ( since they lose ovarian follicles every menstrual cycle because of a silent process called follicular atresia).

If you want to postpone childbearing, it's a good idea to remain in good physical health of course, but also to monitor your ovarian health. The good news is it's easy to track your personal ovarian biological clock by doing a simple blood test called an AMH. Tracking your AMH level every birthday ( after you cross 30 ) will give you useful personalized data, which you can then utilize to make a well-informed decision as to whether you want to freeze your eggs; or whether you want to have a baby now by doing IVF; or whether you want to postpone this for the future so that you never have any regrets afterward that you made a poorly informed decision.

Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.