Mother's Age at Menopause

Your mother’s age at menopause may predict your fertility

The results of a recent study published in the journal Human Reproduction suggest that women may be able to predict the length of their reproductive years based on the age at which their mother entered menopause. The study was conducted with 527 female healthcare workers between 20 and 40 years of age. Researchers tested participants’ ovarian reserve (i.e., number of remaining eggs in a woman’s ovaries) by examining their levels of anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) and antral follicle count (AFC). Women whose mothers started menopause before the age of 45 had fewer eggs in their ovaries than those women whose mothers entered menopause late (i.e., after age 55). And AMH and AFC levels declined more rapidly among women whose mothers had an early- vs. late-onset menopause.

However, fertility experts maintain that a woman should not be alarmed if her mother entered menopause early, since there is great variation among women in terms of their ovarian reserve. In addition, having fewer eggs does not necessarily mean a woman will go on to have fewer children or have difficulty conceiving. Nonetheless, these experts suggest that women whose mothers entered menopause early may be most successful having children if they don’t wait too long to start their families. If your mother went into menopause at an early age (51 is the average age of menopause), and you are not yet ready to have children, you may want to speak with your doctor about having your current fertility tested and/or consider fertility preservation.

Read more about the link between ovarian reserve and the age at which a woman’s mother enters the menopause here and here.

Read more about fertility testing and preservation here.

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