New Test May Predict Timing of Menopause

Breakthrough could help women schedule childbearing
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 27, 2010 3:54 PM CDT
New Test May Predict Timing of Menopause
Sperm competing to fertilize a human ovum.   (Shutterstock)

Doctors could one day use a blood test to predict decades in advance when women will go into menopause, scientists say. The preliminary study could be a first step toward developing a tool to help women decide when they want to have children, Iranian experts say. "This is not something we could start rolling out tomorrow," said a fertility expert not involved in the research. "But if it really does work, it could be immensely useful to young women who are making choices about whether to work or have a family."

The test does not predict when women will lose their fertility—typically about a decade before menopause—but if doctors know when women will go into menopause, they can calculate roughly when they will run out of eggs. Scientists say the test could be especially helpful in identifying women who might go into menopause early. (Read more menopause stories.)

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