Pregnant Pause

New blood test predicts the onset of menopause

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) When menopause happens, lots of significant things happen to your body. A biggie is an inability to conceive, which may impact a woman's decision about how much time she has left to start a family.

Researchers have developed a way of predicting when a woman will hit menopause using a simple blood test.

Women participating in the study had an average “miss” of the predicted age and the actual age of menopause of only 4 months

"Blood tests predicting menopause will help with family planning for working women."

Dr. Ramezani Tehrani and her team took blood samples from 266 women, aged 20-40, and measured the concentrations of anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) which is produced by cells in women’s ovaries.

63 of the women reached menopause during the 6 years of the study. AMH controls developing the follicles which in turn develop into fertilizable eggs.

Then researchers took another blood sample from all the women measuring AMH after three years and a third blood sample measuring AMH once again after another threre years. This gave researchers a trend in AMH levels for each individual study participant. The maximum margin of error was between three and four years.

Dr. Tehrani’s team developed a statistical model for estimating the age at menopause derived from a single measurement of AMH concentration in serum from blood samples.

Using this model, they estimated mean average ages at menopause for women at different time points in their reproductive life span based on varying levels of serum AMH concentration model.

The subgroup of 63 women who reached menopause during the study had their time of menopause predicted by the blood test with an average difference of predicted menopause compared to actual menopause of only 4 months.

Dr Ramezani Tehrani stated, "The findings indicate that AMH is capable of specifying a woman's reproductive status more realistically than chronological age per se.

Considering that this is a small study that has looked at women over a period of time, larger studies starting with women in their twenties and following them for several years are needed to validate the accuracy of serum AMH concentration for the prediction of menopause in young women."

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
April 3, 2011
Last Updated:
May 2, 2011