25 November 2008

Shorter cycles, lower fertility

As a woman's menstrual cycle shortens with advancing age, her odds of becoming pregnant decreases.

The length of your menstrual cycle could be an indicator of your fertility. If you used to be a tidy 28 days, and you’re dropping to 27 or 26 days, this could mean your odds of becoming pregnant decreases, Swedish investigators report in the journal Fertility and Sterility.

Dr Thomas Brodin of Malarsjukhuset in Eskilstuna, Sweden, and colleagues analysed successful pregnancy and delivery rates in 6 271 in vitro fertilisation cycles in terms of menstrual cycle length. Their objective was to determine if cycle length could be used as a marker for fertility potential.

"Increasing age was associated with a subtle shortening of (average) menstrual cycle length. The (average) shortening of menstrual cycle length is about two days from the twenties to the forties," Brodin said in an interview with Reuters Health.

After accounting for age, the menstrual cycle length was directly related to the odds of pregnancy and delivery, the team found. "The chance of delivery after (in vitro fertilisation) was almost doubled for women with a menstrual cycle length longer than 34 days compared with women with a menstrual cycle length shorter than 26 days." - (Martha Kerr/Reuters Health)

Fertility and Sterility, November 2008.

Read more:
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Fertility – women uninformed

November 2008


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