Your Mom's Age at Menopause Could Affect Your Fertility

baby toesWhen it comes to a woman's fertility, there are so many unknowns. You'd think with babies being born since the beginning of time (literally), we'd have more answers, but as many women who can't conceive find out, there's little we've actually figured out for sure. So every new piece of the puzzle is welcome -- like this latest finding about how a woman's fertility may be affected by her mother's age at menopause.

According to a Danish study, women whose mothers went through menopause early (before age 45) had "far fewer" eggs than women whose mothers went through menopause later. According to the BBC they looked at anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) and antral follicle count (AFC) counts in more than 500 women and found that both decreased significantly over the years the earlier a woman's mother went through menopause.

Interesting, and it make sense. But don't panic if your mom did go through early menopause.


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While current thinking is that the fewer eggs you have, the less chance you have of getting pregnant during your lifetime, the study did not look at fertility rates. And researchers stressed that the number of eggs between women varies greatly.

More research is still needed in this area (of course, as it always is), and doctors' advice remains unchanged: "... the younger you start trying for a baby the more likely you are to be successful," said Valentine Akande, a consultant gynecologist and spokesman for the British Fertility Society. 

And like all of the others studies we see, you have to take this latest research with a grain of salt (or shot of vodka?). It may be a good excuse to ask your mom about her experience with menopause if you haven't, but it certainly doesn't mean you should rush into pregnancy because you're panicked it will never happen now. It's just one more piece in what can be a very painful puzzle that I wish we could solve already.

Does this news surprise you?


Image via sabianmaggy/Flickr

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