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  • How Many Eggs is a Woman Born With?

    Human eggs are finite and found in ovaries, unlike sperm which are produced daily throughout a lifetime. A woman's eggs are fully formed and stowed away in her ovaries from before birth. Each mature egg contains one copy of each gene in the human genome—half the amount necessary for life. Other half comes from the sperm.

    The magic number is 5,000,000 follicles according to Dr. Evelyn Minaya. Follicles are anatomical structures which form part of the ovary and the egg. By the time puberty is reached and menstruation begins, only about 250,000 follicles remain in each ovary. With each menstrual cycle, a thousand follicles are lost and only one lucky little follicle will actually mature into an ovum (egg), which is released into the fallopian tube, kicking off ovulation. That means only about 400 will ever mature.

    Relatively little or no follicles remain at menopause, which usually begins between 48 to 55 years of age. The remaining follicles are unlikely to mature and become viable eggs because of the hormonal changes that come along with menopause.

    A human egg is about the size of a grain of sand and can actually be seen with the naked eye.

    Source:, Dr. Evelyn Minaya, Dr. Michael Roizen

    Photo credit: Jen P.

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