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How many eggs are in a woman's overies when she starts menstruating and how many are left when she enters peri-menopause?

By October 7, 2014 - 3:56pm
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Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger

Hi Jacqui and thanks for your question.

When we are born, most of us have somewhere between one to three million eggs. These are lost throughout our lives, and by the time a girl gets her first period she has, on average, about 400,000 eggs.  While I don't have a figure for how many eggs are left when most women reach perimenopause, I can tell you that when women reach menopause most have less than 10,000 eggs left. 

Most eggs die off through a process called atresia (the degeneration and subsequent resorption of immature ovarian follicles - fluid filled cysts that contain the eggs).

A small percentage are lost through normal ovulation during women's periods.

Has this answered your question? For more information on perimenopause please visit EmpowHER's Perimenopause Community section.



October 7, 2014 - 5:49pm
(reply to Pat Elliott)

Hi Pat:
Thanks for your prompt answer. The issue of how many eggs does a woman have at first menstruation may be somewhat different from woman to woman. Dr. Judith Reichman, a noted gynecologist at Cedars- Sinai Medical Center and UCLA in Los Angeles , and often quoted in national media says that at the onset of menstruation the ovaries contain about two million eggs. Then thousands of eggs are lost every month. At the beginning of menopause, women generally have only a few thousand eggs left. Of course, fewer eggs mean less estrogen production which results in lower hormone levels causing all kinds of menopausal symptoms such as vaginal dryness. The exact number of eggs present at that time varies from woman to woman just as the symptoms of menopause affect women very differently. Jacqui

October 8, 2014 - 11:34am
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