A New Kinda Egg Timer
Predicting Your Menopause Age May Be Possible, Facilitate Family Planning
Researchers have discovered a way, using a simple blood test, to predict the age at which a woman will hit "the menopause." This is crazy for two reasons:
1. We now know that if we put an article in front of an event, it sounds even worse than it is (i.e., "The" Armagedon or "The" Erectile Dysfunction) and
2. Women may soon be able to calculate how long they can put off starting a family before it's too late.
Researchers isolated the anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) from the blood samples of women ages 20 to 49 and measured the level that it decreased over three-year intervals. AMH controls the development of follicles in the ovaries and is believed to be largely responsible for ovarian function. Based on each woman's decline of AMH levels over the years, the researchers were able to predict their menopausal age with an average margin of error of a third of a year (and a maximum margin of error of three to four years). Ah science.
This is surely exciting, as the methods uncovered in this research could someday guide health practitioners in helping women with family planning. The research still needs the support of larger studies, though, to confirm that this method works for predicting menopause in young women. Here's to hoping further corroboration leads to a lot more crazy vacations in our lives before we settle down--not to mention more senior citizens in the little league bleachers.
European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (2010, June 28). Accurate way to predict the age when women will hit the menopause developed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100627201251.htm