The oocyte is at the center of the equation that results in female fertility. Many factors influence oocyte quality, including external factors such as maternal nutrition, stress, and environmental exposures, as well as ovarian factors such as steroids, intercellular communication, antral follicle count, and follicular fluid composition. These influences are interconnected; changes in the external environment of the female translate into ovarian changes that affect the oocyte. The lengthy period during which the oocyte remains arrested in the ovary provides ample time and opportunity for environmental factors to take their toll. An appropriate environment for growth and maturation of the oocyte, in vivo and in vitro, is critical to ensure optimal oocyte quality, which determines the success of fertilization and preimplantation embryo development, and has long-term implications for implantation, fetal growth, and offspring health.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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