NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 8,390 terms related to cancer and medicine.

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ovarian reserve
(oh-VAYR-ee-un reh-SERV)
The total number of healthy, immature eggs in the ovaries. The number of healthy eggs decreases as a woman ages, which can lower fertility (the ability to have children). Damage to the ovaries can also decrease ovarian reserve and fertility. This may be caused by smoking, certain anticancer treatments (such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy), surgery to the ovaries or other organs in the pelvis, and certain diseases or genetic conditions. Ovarian reserve is often checked in women who want to have children and are having problems getting pregnant.