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New Genetic Test Can Help Predict the Likelihood of Pregnancy over 40

mom and baby

a blog by CHR, April 12, 2012

A new study published in the medical journal PLoS One has found that a specific gene preserves a woman’s ability to produce eggs, improving the chance of pregnancy over 40.

The study was conducted by the Center for Human Reproduction (CHR) in New York, and compared egg yields during in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles in women over 40 with varying FMR1 genotypes and sub-genotypes.

In women with poor ovarian reserve, the het-norm/high FMR1 sub-genotype produced significantly more eggs than other genotypes and sub-genotypes. Therefore, with this sub-genotype, a woman over 40 is more likely to produce a good number of eggs, even if her ovarian reserve is severely diminished.

Norbert Gleicher, M.D., lead author of the study and medical director of CHR, explains: “Because these women use their eggs more slowly from their egg reserve when they are younger, we suspected that they may have more eggs left when older. The study confirmed this hypothesis, demonstrating that women with this sub-genotype performed better in in vitro fertilization cycles than women with normal FMR1 genotype.”

These findings further enhance the understanding of genetic control over the process of ovarian aging, and refine prognosis in older women undergoing fertility treatments.

Given that egg yields in IVF cycles usually correlate with IVF pregnancy rates, women with extremely low ovarian reserve may have better chances of success in IVF with het-norm/high FMR1 sub-genotype.

The study provides good news for women attempting to achieve pregnancy over 40.

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