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Cate Swannell
Med J Aust 2017; 207 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/mja17.n0611
Published online: 6 November 2017

In older women of reproductive age, biomarker levels that indicate diminished ovarian reserve were not associated with reduced fertility, according to a study published by JAMA. Anti-Müllerian hormone, early follicular phase follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and inhibin B are collectively regarded as biomarkers of ovarian reserve; however, their ability to predict reproductive potential is uncertain. Between April 2008 and March 2016, researchers from the University of North Carolina conducted a prospective time-to-pregnancy cohort study, to determine the extent to which biomarkers of ovarian reserve were associated with reproductive potential. The Time to Conceive study included 981 women aged 30–44 years without a history of infertility who had been trying to conceive naturally for 3 months or less. A total of 750 women provided blood and urine samples and were included in the analysis. After adjusting for age, body mass index, ethnic background, current smoking status, and recent hormonal contraceptive use, the researchers found that neither low serum anti-Müllerian hormone levels nor high serum FSH levels were associated with reduced fecundability (probability of conception in a given menstrual cycle), nor were they associated with a lower cumulative probability of conceiving within 6 or 12 cycles of pregnancy attempt. Urinary FSH and early follicular phase inhibin B levels were also not predictive of fertility outcomes.



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