A woman is born with a set number of eggs in her ovaries to last the woman’s reproductive lifespan. As the years go by, the number of eggs in the ovaries decline in quantity and quality. This is the reason for the decline in a woman’s fecundity with increasing age. Menopause occurs when there is depletion of eggs in the ovaries.
Ovulation induction and indeed assisted conception treatments are less likely to be successful in women with low ovarian reserve. At present there is no proven effective treatment to boost egg production (quantity and quality) in women with low reserve. The use of androgens, in particular DHEA tablets, is recommended by some practitioners but it remains controversial, there are no large enough studies to confirm its effectiveness. For most women with very low ovarian reserve, the use of donor eggs provides the best option for a successful treatment outcome.