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Menstrual cycle length is an age-independent marker of female fertility: results from 6271 treatment cycles of in vitro fertilization
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health. (Klinisk och experimentell reproduktionsbiologi/Olovsson)
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2008 (English)In: Fertility and Sterility, ISSN 0015-0282, Vol. 90, no 5, 1656-1661 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether menstrual cycle length correlates with success rates at IVF/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and could be used as a marker of ovarian reserve. DESIGN: Prospective observational study. SETTING: Private infertility centre. PATIENT(S): A total of 6271 IVF/ICSI treatment cycles. INTERVENTION(S): Self-reported mean number of menstrual days during the last year was recorded before initiation of IVF/ICSI treatment. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Relations between menstrual cycle length and pregnancy and delivery rates. RESULT(S): Increasing age was associated with a subtle shortening of mean menstrual cycle length. Menstrual cycle length correlated linearly with pregnancy and delivery rates, even after age adjustment. The chance of delivery after IVF/ICSI was almost doubled for women with a menstrual cycle length >34 days compared with women with a menstrual cycle length <26 days. Menstrual cycle length was also significantly associated with ovarian response to FSH/hMG stimulation and embryo quality. CONCLUSION(S): Mean menstrual cycle length is highly related to success rates in assisted reproduction, independently of age. A precise menstrual cycle history could be used as a simple marker of ovarian reserve.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 90, no 5, 1656-1661 p.
Keyword [en]
Fecundity, female age, infertility, IVF, menstrual cycle, ovarian reserve
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-107097DOI: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2007.09.036ISI: 000260752000015PubMedID: 18155201OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-107097DiVA: diva2:227658
Available from: 2009-07-16 Created: 2009-07-16 Last updated: 2013-03-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Ovarian Reserve and Assisted Reproduction
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ovarian Reserve and Assisted Reproduction
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Treatment success in IVF-ICSI is mainly limited by female age, but differences in ovarian reserve (OR; the remaining pool of oocytes and their quality) between individuals modify treatment prerequisites among women of similar age. OR may be assessed by OR tests (ORTs). The main aims of this work were to study menstrual cycle length (MCL), basal levels of circulating gonadotrophins, antral follicle count (AFC) and serum Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) levels and their associations with and prognostic capacities regarding IVF-ICSI outcome in large cohorts of unselected women.

Age-adjusted MCL was positively and linearly associated with pregnancy rates (PRs), live-birth rates (LBRs) and ovarian response to controlled ovarian hyperstimulation. An MCL of >34 days almost doubled the LBR compared with an MCL of <26 days.

The grouped variable ‘combined FSH and LH levels’ was superior to both individual gonadotrophin levels and the LH:FSH ratio. The highest mean PR was seen in connection with a combination of FSH <6.7 U/l with LH >4.9 U/l; PRs were lowest when FSH-LH levels were opposite to this (high-low) and intermediate when FSH-LH levels were low-low or high-high. Associations with LBR and ovarian response were similar as those for PR.

AFCs and serum AMH levels were positively and log-linearly associated with PR, LBR and ovarian response. Success rates levelled out above AFC 30 or AMH 5 ng/ml. Treatment outcome was superior among women with polycystic ovaries.

Among the studied ORTs, logAFC and logAMH concentration correlated most strongly. After multivariate testing, entering all studied ORTs, AMH and female age remained independently associated with LBR. AMH + AFC + age predicted both poor and excessive ovarian responses with high accuracy.

Adjusting for age and oocyte yield, all ORTs remained significant for LBR, implying that ORTs also capture information on oocyte quality.

In conclusion, measures of OR are strongly associated with PR, LBR and ovarian response in a log-linear fashion, and partly reflect oocyte quality. The OR spectrum is continuous, from small ‘oligofollicular’ ovaries (the low extreme) to polycystic ovaries (the high extreme). Among the studied ORTs, AMH together with age provide the most powerful basal estimate for IVF/ICSI outcome.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2013. 88 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 865
AFC, AMH, anti-Müllerian hormone, antral follicle count, follicle-stimulating hormone, FSH, ICSI, infertility, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, in vitro fertilization, IVF, LH, live birth, luteinizing hormone, menstrual cycle, menstrual cycle length, ovarian reserve, pregnancy, reproductive endocrinology, reproductive technology
National Category
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Research subject
Medical Science
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-192998 (URN)978-91-554-8592-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-03-22, Sal IX, Universitetshuset, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2013-02-28 Created: 2013-01-28 Last updated: 2013-03-05Bibliographically approved

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