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Testing to Prevent Age Related Infertility Studied

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Tuesday, April 17, 2007 | 0 comments

In Denmark some researchers announced that they may be close to a test of the length of fertility. This would be beneficial in helping prevent age related infertility.

Dr. Neri Laufer from the Haddassah University Hospital in Israel studied a group of women who gave birth after the age of 45 from a group of 250 Ashkenazi Jewish women. Many of these women had never suffered a miscarriage and each had at least six children already. Dr. Laufer and his associates studied them because they believed these women to have some “super breeder” qualities.

A “super breeder” is someone who can get pregnant later in life, sometimes more than once. This is unusual because natural fertility declines as a woman ages, until the late 30s. After the late 30s a woman’s natural ability to get pregnant drops drastically in the average population.

In all, the researchers matched eight women who had babies past age 45 and six women who had their last baby by the age of 30. Looking at the genes of each of these women, they found that the women who had babies past 45 possessed a profile that the other women did not have in their genetic make up. Researchers believe that this profile helps protect against aging of the ovary. These 50 genes protect the ovaries by providing protection against early cell death and DNA damage.

Dr. Laufer was able to find a similar genetic make up in Bedouin women, who also had later in life pregnancies.

The benefit to this study is that we might be able to detect women who are able to safely delay childbearing, by at least a few years. Testing hormones levels to detect how long you have until menopause and how many eggs you have left can help women prevent age related fertility problems.

While this study is potentially beneficial to the woman who wishes to delay childbearing until later in life – for whatever reason – the question remains about the exactness of the testing. While the results will be personally tailored to you, the answer as to how accurate these tests will be has yet to be determined. This testing is also not yet available, it is simply being researched.


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About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost that precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted that there will be no more babies in our house.

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