Women's health: Edited by Gubby Ayida and Joseph AquilinaHow old are your eggs?Nikolaou, DimitriosAuthor Information Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, UK Correspondence to Dimitrios Nikolaou, MD, MRCOG, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, 369 Fulham road, London, SW10 9NH, UK Tel: +44 7711 803 668; fax: +44 208 746 8192; e-mail: email@example.com Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology: December 2008 - Volume 20 - Issue 6 - p 540-544 doi: 10.1097/GCO.0b013e328317c755 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review It is estimated that 10% of women experience a rapid decline in their ovarian reserve from the early 30s. This is called ‘early ovarian ageing’. With the development of the so-called ‘ovarian reserve tests’, it was hoped that it would be possible to assess each woman's ovarian biological age and screen for ‘early ovarian ageing’ in the general population. This review examines the progress that has been made in this area. Recent findings Almost the entire literature on ovarian reserve tests refers to women having IVF, rather than women in the general population. Recent systematic reviews have shown that the currently known ‘ovarian reserve’ tests are reasonably good at predicting the number of eggs that are collected following ovarian stimulation with gonadotrophins in the context of an IVF cycle. They show very poor correlation with live-birth rates. The reason is that they cannot directly assess oocyte quality. Summary Screening for ‘early ovarian ageing’ in the general population is desirable but still not possible. Therefore, postponing childbearing to the late 30s remains a risky gamble. Advice to individual women should be given by specialist reproductive endocrinologists, though home-testing is not advisable. © 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.