[box type=”info” style=”rounded” border=”full”]The authors determined that women with decreased ovarian reserve have an increased risk of forming embryos with trisomy (an embryo with an extra chromosome; Downs syndrome is an extra chromosome 21). The findings were independent of the woman’s age.[/box]
The study used the following markers for decreased ovarian reserve:
- a history of ovarian surgery at the time of IVF treatment (such as the removal of benign ovarian cysts);
- the number of eggs (oocytes) retrieved during the fertility treatment;
- menopausal status at the end of the study period
They found that a history of ovarian surgery increased the risks of trisomic pregnancy more than three-fold; if only four or fewer eggs were retrieved during treatment, this quadrupled the risk of trisomy (conventional IVF aims to retrieve between 8-10 eggs at one time); if there were signs of the menopause at the end of the study period, this increased the risk of a trisomic pregnancy more than five-fold.
Dr Maaike Haadsma, a researcher in the departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology and genetics at the University Medical Center Groningen (The Netherlands) presented her findings at the 25th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Amsterdam in June 2010 (http://bit.ly/i7caXT).