The ovarian response to controlled stimulation in IVF cycles may be predictive of the age at menopause

La Marca, A., Dondi, G., Sighinolfi, G., Giulini, S., Papaleo, E., Cagnacci, A., & Faddy, M.J. (2014) The ovarian response to controlled stimulation in IVF cycles may be predictive of the age at menopause. Human Reproduction, 29(11), pp. 2530-2535.

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Abstract

STUDY QUESTION

Can the number of oocytes retrieved in IVF cycles be predictive of the age at menopause?

SUMMARY ANSWER

The number of retrieved oocytes can be used as an indirect assessment of the extent of ovarian reserve to provide information on the duration of the reproductive life span in women of different ages.

WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY

Menopause is determined by the exhaustion of the ovarian follicular pool. Ovarian reserve is the main factor influencing ovarian response in IVF cycles. As a consequence the response to ovarian stimulation with the administration of gonadotrophins in IVF treatment may be informative about the age at menopause.

STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION

In the present cross-sectional study, participants were 1585 infertile women from an IVF clinic and 2635 menopausal women from a more general population.

PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS

For all infertile women, the response to ovarian stimulation with gonadotrophins was recorded. For menopausal women, relevant demographic characteristics were available for the analysis.

MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE

A cubic function described the relationship between mean numbers of oocytes and age, with all terms being statistically significant. From the estimated residual distribution of the actual number of oocytes about this mean, a distribution of the age when there would be no oocytes retrieved following ovarian stimulation was derived. This was compared with the distribution of the age at menopause from the menopausal women, showing that menopause occurred about a year later.

LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION

The retrieved oocyte data were from infertile women, while the menopausal ages were from a more general population.

WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS

In the present study, we have shown some similarity between the distributions of the age when no retrieved oocytes can be expected after ovarian stimulation and the age at menopause. For a given age, the lower the ovarian reserve, the lower the number of retrieved oocytes would be and the earlier the age that menopause would occur.

Impact and interest:

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2 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 88853
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1093/humrep/deu234
ISSN: 0268-1161
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Mathematical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 22 Oct 2015 03:29
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2015 03:29

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