Women with blood group O at ‘double the risk of fertility problems’

Monday, October 25, 2010

LONDON - Scientists have said that women with the most common blood type could be twice as likely to suffer fertility problems.

Researchers found that those with blood group O are at much higher risk of running out of healthy eggs, so they could have problems conceiving as they get older.

Almost half the population - 44 per cent - have blood type O. Another 42 per cent have type A and 14 percent have type AB.

American researchers found that those with blood type O were twice as likely to have low ‘ovarian reserve’ - the number of healthy eggs left - than those with other types.

The size of a woman’s ovarian reserve gradually falls throughout her life. A newborn girl has up to two million eggs, but by the time she reaches puberty this has fallen to 400,000 and once she is over 40 she will have just a few hundred left.

Researchers from Yale University and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, looked at the blood type of 563 women under 45 who were undergoing fertility treatment.

They compared their levels of Follicle Stimulating Hormone - a chemical in the blood which, if high, indicates a woman has a poor ovarian reserve.

FSH levels greater than ten suggest a woman will have more difficulty conceiving. The study found that those with blood type O were twice as likely to have FSH levels above ten.

Women with FSH levels higher than 20 are deemed infertile. The researchers said that in future women could make decisions on when to start a family based on their blood type.

But they acknowledged that many ‘type O’ women have successfully had children and that there are dozens of other factors affecting fertility such as age, body weight and alcohol consumption.

“We found that women with blood type A and AB - women with the A blood group gene - were protected from diminished ovarian reserve,” the Daily Mail quoted Dr Edward Nejat, from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, as saying.

“Patients with blood type O seeking infertility evaluation have a higher likelihood to be diagnosed with elevated FSH and hence manifest diminished ovarian reserve,” Nejat added.

The study will be presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Denver, Colorado. (ANI)

Filed under: Science and Technology

will not be displayed