Most times, when a couple can’t get pregnant or can’t sustain a pregnancy, they think they have some existing health conditions that prevent them from having a baby.
While this may be true, there is another issue that can stop you from getting pregnant: the size of your egg. Your egg size plays a major role in deciding whether you can conceive.
In this article, we’ll discuss the minimum egg size required for a healthy pregnancy and how ovary size plays a role in your chances of pregnancy. Continue reading to learn more
What is a good size egg for fertilization?
When you decide to undergo IVF to get pregnant, your doctor will analyze the size of your egg to determine if it is suitable for fertilization. The size also determines whether the embryo can grow and develop into a healthy baby.
When it comes to the size of your egg, the bigger the better. On average, doctors consider a follicle size of 18–20 mm (1.8–2 cm) in diameter good enough for fertilization. An egg around 23–28 mm (2.2–2.8 cm) in diameter is considered even better because a bigger egg increases the chances of a successful IVF pregnancy.
Can I get pregnant if my eggs are small?
A bigger egg increases the chances of a successful pregnancy. But what about a small egg? Can you get pregnant with an egg smaller than the average size?
No, you can’t get pregnant with a smaller egg. Even if you did get pregnant, the chances of sustaining the pregnancy till full-term are very low as there are high chances of having a miscarriage.
Small eggs often have chromosomal abnormalities with abnormal DNA. This condition is called aneuploidy, and it increases the risk of miscarriages and chromosomal abnormalities in the developing baby.
Does ovary size matter for easy conceiving?
The size of your ovary determines your ovarian reserve and the size of your eggs. Most times, women with smaller ovaries tend to have a smaller egg reserve, with most of the eggs of low quality.
Doctors always analyze your uterus and ovaries through an ultrasound to determine the size of your ovaries and your chances of having a healthy pregnancy. Visit your nearest Fertility Hospital to discuss with your doctor and take the necessary steps if your ovaries are smaller than normal.
Factors affecting Ovary size change
Just like any part of your body, the size of the ovaries is also different for each woman. Some women will naturally have a smaller ovary from birth. Others might have a smaller ovary due to factors like
- Hormonal imbalances,
- Ovarian disorders like PCOS,
- Complications in previous pregnancies, etc.
The size of your ovaries not only determines your ovarian reserve but also your chances of having a successful pregnancy. The size of the ovary and its impact on pregnancy has been discussed below.
Larger ovaries & chances to get pregnant
We have already established that a bigger egg increases the chances of pregnancy. Similarly, you might think that a bigger ovary also increases the chances of pregnancy. But no, it does not.
A bigger ovary is often an indication of complications like tumors, cysts, or other disorders. This is a very serious issue and makes it difficult to achieve pregnancy. It is best to treat the issue before trying to get pregnant.
Normal ovary size & chances to get pregnant
A normal-sized ovary will be of the following dimensions.
- Length: 30 mm (3 cm)
- Width: 25 mm (2.5 cm)
- Thickness: 15 mm (1.5 cm)
A normal-sized ovary can increase your chances of getting pregnant with IVF treatments. The ovarian reserve and the number of good-quality eggs will also be high in a normal-sized ovary, allowing doctors to retrieve several eggs during egg retrieval.
PCOS ovary size
PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) is a hormonal disorder where small or large cysts form in the ovaries. This will cause you ovulatory issues and make it difficult for you to achieve pregnancy.
A PCOS-affected ovary will have the following features:
- When one or both ovaries have 12 or more follicles that have a diameter of 2–9 mm
- When both ovaries have an ovarian volume of more than 10 cm3
The size of your eggs and ovaries matter if you are trying to get pregnant and have a safe and healthy pregnancy. Having abnormal-sized eggs and ovaries, whether big or small, can affect your chances of pregnancy and increase chances of miscarriages.
Consult your doctor and test the size of your eggs and follicles before undergoing IVF treatments. This can increase your chances of getting pregnant.
There are some health tips you can follow to increase your egg size. Below are some of them.
- Improve blood flow to your reproductive organs
- Follow a healthy diet filled with essential nutrients
- Avoid smoking, alcohol, and drugs
- Consult your doctor and incorporate fertility supplements
- Maintain your BMI
- Avoid stress
A normal menstrual cycle will range between 28–32 days. On day 14, the follicle will be around 13 mm in diameter.
The recommended size for an egg follicle is around 18–20 mm to have the maximum chances of pregnancy. However, pregnancy is possible even with a 15mm follicle, but the chances of miscarriage are higher. So, be very careful during your pregnancy period.