Predicting chances of pregnancy could become more accurate

August 9, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- Science may soon be able to more accurately predict how long a woman will remain fertile during her lifetime, thanks to research carried out at the University of St Andrews.

A survey of healthy women, carried out with experts from Edinburgh and Glasgow universities, has revealed the normal range of levels of the hormone anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) which reflects the activity of the ovaries right across lifespan.

The findings are likely to help know whether they are likely to have an early or later , and thus how long they may be fertile. Currently there is no accepted test that will reliably predict how many immature remain for an individual woman. Many currently use the measurement of AMH as a surrogate measure of .

The team from St Andrews, Glasgow and Edinburgh already knew that when levels of AMH fell below a certain level, IVF treatment became less successful. The study examined 3,200 samples from healthy and women to find out average levels of AMH. This will now allow fertility experts to tell how a woman’s AMH level compares to the average for her age.

Tom Kelsey, a lecturer in the School of Computer Science at St Andrews said: “We knew that high AMH levels were good for conception but we could not back that up statistically.

“This study now provides us the level you would expect to find in a normal healthy woman.

“Before, we knew that once the levels of this hormone dropped below a certain level, it was hard to conceive.”

Professor Richard Anderson, Professor of Reproductive Medicine at the University of Edinburgh said: “Predicting how long you might remain fertile can be very important, and it seems that AMH can help in this. Our data show how AMH changes with age in normal women.”

Professor Hamish Wallace, a paediatric oncologist at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh said: “Currently there is no accepted test that will reliably predict how many immature eggs remain for an individual girl or young woman.

“For a young patient with cancer who may be at high risk of infertility as a result of their proposed treatment, our study will assist the counselling of these vulnerable patients at diagnosis and may influence decisions regarding fertility preservation before they start their cancer treatment”.

It is hoped in the future the St Andrews findings will help the development of tests which will be able to predict length of fertility.

Professor Scott Nelson of the University of Glasgow said: “We can now interpret a woman’s or child’s AMH with confidence and that is a huge step in ensuring we can accurately counsel patients regarding their potential reproductive .”

Explore further: Hormone test predicts ovarian function after chemotherapy for breast cancer

Related Stories

Hormone test predicts ovarian function after chemotherapy for breast cancer

June 6, 2011
A test that shows how many eggs a woman has in her ovaries may help young women with breast cancer know what their reproductive function will be after chemotherapy, a new study finds. The results will be presented Sunday ...

Study: Hormone level predicts end of fertility

May 26, 2011
The age-specific blood levels of the Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) can predict when women will reach menopause. This makes family planning easier, say fertility researchers from the University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands. ...

Hormone test helps predict success in IVF

June 9, 2011
Given how much patients invest in in vitro fertilization (IVF), both financially and emotionally, tools to inform couples about what they might expect during their treatment can be welcome. A study by researchers at Brown ...

Recommended for you

Inflammation trains the skin to heal faster

October 18, 2017
Scars may fade, but the skin remembers. New research from The Rockefeller University reveals that wounds or other harmful, inflammation-provoking experiences impart long-lasting memories to stem cells residing in the skin, ...

Large variety of microbial communities found to live along female reproductive tract

October 18, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A large team of researchers from China (and one each from Norway and Denmark) has found that the female reproductive tract is host to a far richer microbial community than has been thought. In their paper ...

Study of what makes cells resistant to radiation could improve cancer treatments

October 18, 2017
A Johns Hopkins University biologist is part of a research team that has demonstrated a way to size up a cell's resistance to radiation, a step that could eventually help improve cancer treatments.

New approach helps rodents with spinal cord injury breathe on their own

October 17, 2017
One of the most severe consequences of spinal cord injury in the neck is losing the ability to control the diaphragm and breathe on one's own. Now, investigators show for the first time in laboratory models that two different ...

Pair of discoveries illuminate new paths to flu and anthrax treatments

October 17, 2017
Two recent studies led by biologists at the University of California San Diego have set the research groundwork for new avenues to treat influenza and anthrax poisoning.

New method to measure how drugs interact

October 17, 2017
Cancer, HIV and tuberculosis are among the many serious diseases that are frequently treated with combinations of three or more drugs, over months or even years. Developing the most effective therapies for such diseases requires ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.