Menopause is the end of reproductive age of women when ovaries stop producing eggs. Every woman suffers with menopause in later stage of her life. Some have menopause in early age, while others have late. Typically women lose their fertility a decade before menopause. Predicting when women will reach menopause has never been an accurate science. Recently a study conducted by Iranian researchers suggest that they can predict the age of women when she will start menopause with a blood test.
How can a blood test help in predicting a menopause?
Iranian scientists developed a blood test that they believe will be able to help women know when their biological clock of menstrual cycle will stop ticking, so they can plan on having children before they stop producing eggs. Scientists measured the concentrations of a hormone in blood that is produced by cells in women’s ovaries – anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH). AMH controls the development of follicles in the ovaries, from which oocytes (eggs) develop and it has been suggested that AMH can be used for measuring ovarian function.
What was the patient size and duration of the study?
The scientists took blood samples from 266 female participants that ranged in age from 20 to 40. The amount of anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) was measured that informed the scientists as to how many more eggs were left in the woman’s ovaries. Six years later two more samples were taken including physical examinations.
How scientists did calculate the menopause age?
To estimate the age when women would enter menopause, scientists used mathematical calculations based on the amount of AMH that women had in the blood. Out of all the participants, 63...
women entered into the menopausal stage at the time scientist had calculated with just a four month difference. The study was started in 1998 and is still in progress.
The findings of the study will be presented on Monday June 28, 2010 at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Rome.
According to Dr. Fahimeh Ramezani Tehrani, co-author of the study, they are still in the preliminary stages of the study, but do believe they are heading in the right direction.
This is not a first study performed by Iranian scientists analyzing AMH to predict menopausal age in women. Previous studies in Canada, the U.S. and other places have also suggested that analyzing AMH could help predict when women will go into menopause, but no long-term studies have been presented from their research.
The study looks promising considering the positive results and long duration of the study. But to make it more effective scientist should consider including more women volunteers with diverse population. They should provide comparative analysis if they find any changes in the menopausal age with diversity.