29 Jun, 2010 @ 09:03 am BST
A soon-to-be-unveiled blood test can inform young women the exact age when menopause will turn in, thereby giving them ample time to prepare their pregnancy plans and prepare for the phase of life when they cease to be fertile.
The test works on the concept that it measures the levels of hormones produced by the ovaries. The new blood test will be unveiled at the annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Rome.
It would let women who are as young as 20 to know within few months when they would hit menopause and hence cease to be fertile. This test could be vital and valuable for women who are working and are trying to maintain a balance between their careers and their family life with having kids.
Most women in the western nations hit menopause around the average age of 51. Though, in about 15 percent of women, menopause sets in early, at an age of about 45 years.
Dr. Fahimeh Ramezani Tehrani, who led the research, was quoted by an Australian news website (news.com.au) to reveal that the study found that anti-Mullerian hormone produced by the ovaries can actually predict the exact age of menopause in women.
The research team at the Endocrine Research Center in Tehran analyzed the hormone and its levels in a sample size of 266 women between the age group of 20 to 49. The hormone controls the development of cells in the ovaries from which the eggs develop.
It is a well known fact that the hormone vary from women to women and also decreases with progressing age. Scientist earlier had suspected that changing levels were related to menopause, but there was no enough and sufficient data to make use of it as a predictive tool.
Dr. Tehrani feels that by gathering sufficient data from a large sample size of women and analyzing it, the team has invented a mathematical and precise model to adjudge the age at which women will hit the menopause at any age.