Women's biological clock revealed: Hormone may predict age at menopause

Apr 29, 2008

Age at menopause may now be predicted more realistically according to a new study accepted for publication in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM). The study revealed that anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) levels are related to the onset of menopause and are able to specify a woman’s reproductive age more accurately than chronological age alone.

The levels of AMH in the blood reflect the number of small follicles present in a woman’s ovaries. This follicle stock enables reproduction by ensuring monthly ovulations. Depletion of the stock leads to menopause, which normally occurs between 40 and 60 years of age.

“Couples often postpone childbearing until after age thirty, even though variation in menopausal age and corresponding variation in natural fertility means that some women are sterile as early as their thirties,” say Dr. Jeroen van Disseldorp and Dr Frank Broekmans of the University Medical Center Utrecht in Utrecht, the Netherlands. “Knowing when menopause may occur could greatly impact childbearing decisions and our findings show that such knowledge may now be available from AMH levels.”

For this study, AMH levels were measured in 144 healthy, fertile women and the data were used to determine an estimate of mean AMH as a function of age. This information was then used to estimate the distribution of the age of menopause in a sample of 3,384 women between the ages of 50 and 70. Researchers were then able to develop a model based on AMH level and age that could predict age at menopause for individual women.

Prediction for younger women may be more problematic since observed AMH levels were underrepresented at younger ages, and a recent study in mice show that mean AMH levels do not decline at young ages.

Source: The Endocrine Society

Explore further: Paralyzed man recovers some function following transplantation of OECs and nerve bridge

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New blood test will show women's egg levels: report

Feb 21, 2010

Women will soon be able to tell how many eggs they have in their ovaries in a simple hormone test that Australian researchers said Sunday could revolutionise family planning and fertility treatment.

New hormone data can predict menopause within a year

Oct 27, 2008

For many women, including the growing number who choose later-in-life pregnancy, predicting their biological clock's relation to the timing of their menopause and infertility is critically important.

Recommended for you

Team untangles the biological effects of blue light

3 hours ago

Blue light can both set the mood and set in motion important biological responses. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine and School of Arts and Sciences have teased apart the ...

Mouse model provides new insight in to preeclampsia

4 hours ago

Worldwide, preeclampsia is a leading cause of maternal deaths and preterm births. This serious pregnancy complication results in extremely high blood pressure and organ damage. The onset of preeclampsia is associated with ...

Scientists unravel the mystery of a rare sweating disorder

4 hours ago

An international research team discovered that mutation of a single gene blocks sweat production, a dangerous condition due to an increased risk of hyperthermia, also known as heatstroke. The gene, ITPR2, controls a basic ...

User comments : 0