Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Girls born small or underweight twice as likely to be infertile in adulthood

Date:
March 10, 2014
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Girls born unexpectedly small or underweight seem to be twice as likely to have fertility problems in adulthood as those of normal size at birth, suggests new research. "As medical research and care advances, more infants will be born [with low birthweight or small size] and survive, which in turn might influence future need of infertility treatment," the authors conclude.

Girls born unexpectedly small or underweight seem to be twice as likely to have fertility problems in adulthood as those of normal size at birth, suggests research published in the online only journal BMJ Open.

Related Articles


Medical advances mean that more underweight and very small babies will survive into adulthood, which might therefore increase the prevalence of fertility problems, say the authors.

But as this is the first research of its kind, further studies will be needed before definitive conclusions can be drawn, they caution.

The researchers base their findings on 1206 women who were born in Sweden from 1973 onwards, and part of a straight couple seeking help for fertility problems at one major centre between 2005 and 2010.

The primary cause of infertility -- female, combined, male or unexplained -- was gleaned from the patients' medical records, while details of their birth size, age, and weight were gathered from Sweden's national medical birth register.

Infertility was attributed to female causes in 38.5% of the cases; male causes in just under 27%; combined causes in just under 7%; and unexplained in 28%.

Around two thirds of the women were of a healthy weight, while around one in four was overweight. One in 20 was obese while almost 2.5% were under weight.

Women whose infertility was attributable to a female cause tended to be heavier than average; excess weight is a known risk factor for infertility.

Just under 4% of the women had been born prematurely; a similar proportion were underweight at birth; while just under 6% were unexpectedly small babies.

Analysis of the data showed that women with fertility problems attributable to a female factor, were almost 2.5 times as likely to have been underweight at birth as those in whom the cause of infertility was attributable to a male factor or unexplained.

Similarly, these women were almost three times as likely to have been born unexpectedly small as those whose primary cause of infertility was unexplained.

These findings held true even after influential factors, including previous motherhood and current weight, were taken into account.

By way of possible explanation, the authors suggest that growth restriction in the womb might affect the developing reproductive organs as previous research has linked fetal growth restriction with reduced ovulation.

And other research has pointed to the fetal origins of some adult diseases, they add.

They caution that the sample size was relatively small and carried out in one geographical area in one country so may not be applicable elsewhere. Further research would be needed before definitive conclusions could be drawn, they say.

But they say that if the associations between low birthweight or small birth size and infertility are confirmed, this may have implications for the prevalence of infertility problems.

"As medical research and care advances, more infants will be born [with low birthweight or small size] and survive, which in turn might influence future need of infertility treatment," they conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. Vikstrom, M. Hammar, A. Josefsson, M. Bladh, G. Sydsjo. Birth characteristics in a clinical sample of women seeking infertility treatment: a case-control study. BMJ Open, 2014; 4 (3): e004197 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-004197

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Girls born small or underweight twice as likely to be infertile in adulthood." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140310210634.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2014, March 10). Girls born small or underweight twice as likely to be infertile in adulthood. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140310210634.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Girls born small or underweight twice as likely to be infertile in adulthood." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140310210634.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins