Infertility treatments not related to early menopause

A group of researchers at the Bourn Hall Clinic, Queensland University of Technology and the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, have concluded that IVF treatment does not hasten the onset of the menopause or the severity of symptoms, having investigated the first generation of IVF patients. 

While doctors have long since dismissed this notion – noting for instance that preventing ovulation through the contraceptive pill does not, by the same logic, delay the menopause – the clinical evidence has been lacking.

 Pioneering parents

Researchers at the Bourn Hall Clinic, in Bourn, Cambridgeshire, contacted 700 of its former patients who had been treated between 1981 and 1994. Some 199 responded, the majority of whom had given birth to at least one child as a result of the treatment. The age of menopause closely resembled that of the woman’s mother. In addition, there was no increase in menopausal symptoms with the number of treatments

 Lawrence Shaw of the British Fertility Society welcomed the findings, which he said were unsurprising, but nevertheless helpful. ‘This is a question patients often ask – and it’s very useful to finally have a scientific study to point to which offers them reassurance that IVF will not affect timing or severity of the menopause,’ he said. 

Meanwhile, a group of researchers publishing in JCEM, a publication of The Endocrine Society, claims to have discovered a way to predict a woman’s age at menopause more accurately. The study shows that anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) levels in the blood can reflect how many follicles are present in a woman’s ovaries. The stock of follicles ensures monthly ovulations, and depletion of the stock leads to menopause. Dr Jeroen van Disseldorp and Dr Frank Broekmans of the University Medical Centre Utrecht in the Netherlands said that ‘knowing when menopause may occur could greatly impact childbearing decisions and our findings show that such knowledge may now be available from AMH levels’.

Posted by : Goral Gandhi, MSc,

                   Laboratory Director,

                   Rotunda – Center for Human Reproduction (Pvt) Ltd



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