Mum’s early menopause ‘may affect daughter’s fertility’

Tags: pregnancy

A woman may be able to estimate how many fertile years she has left by checking at what age her mother went through the menopause, research suggests.

If the mum had an early menopause – before the age of 45 – then her daughter is likely to have fewer eggs in her ovaries compared to women whose mothers went through ‘the change’ later in life, experts have discovered.

The chances of conceiving a baby go down when a woman has few remaining eggs – something doctors refer to as a low ovarian reserve.

The Danish researchers who carried out the study looked at the ovarian reserve of 527 women aged between 20 and 40 working at Copenhagen University Hospital.

They measured anti-Mullerian hormone levels and did something called an antral follicle count to estimate how many eggs were in the ovary and compared this with the mother’s age at menopause.

Both anti-Mullerian hormone levels and antral follicle count declined faster in women whose mothers had an early menopause compared to women whose mothers entered the menopause after the age of 55.

Experts believe there is about 20 years between a woman's fertility starting to decline and the onset of menopause.

So a woman who enters the menopause at 45 may have experienced a decline in her fertility at the age of 25.

If you want to have a baby and are in a position to start trying, then it is better to do it earlier rather than later, doctors advise.

Source © Trio Media 2012

back to top

Ask the expert

Got a question?
Our team of medical experts are ready to help.