Maternal Age at Menopause Tied to Daughter's Ovarian Reserve

Early maternal menopause associated with advanced depletion of the ovarian reserve

THURSDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Women whose mothers naturally went through menopause at an early age may have advanced depletion of ovarian reserve compared with women whose mothers had late menopause, according to a study published online Nov. 6 in Human Reproduction.

Janne G. Bentzen, M.D., Ph.D., from Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues examined the association between markers of ovarian reserve (serum anti-Müllerian hormone [AMH] levels and antral follicle count [AFC]) and the age of onset of natural maternal menopause in 527 women aged 20 to 40 years old. Early maternal menopause was defined as occurring at 45 years old or younger, normal maternal menopause at 46 to 54 years old, and late menopause at 55 years old or older.

The researchers found that median serum AMH levels fell annually by 8.6 percent in the group with early maternal menopause, by 6.8 percent in those with normal maternal menopause, and by 4.2 percent in those with late maternal menopause. Median AFC levels showed a similar pattern, falling annually by 5.8 percent for women with early maternal menopause, by 4.7 percent for those with normal maternal menopause, and by 3.2 percent for those with late maternal menopause.

"This paper shows that early maternal menopause is related to an advanced depletion of the ovarian reserve and that late maternal menopause is related to a delayed depletion," Bentzen and colleagues conclude.

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