Reproductive ageing and ovarian function: is the early follicular phase FSH rise necessary to maintain adequate secretory function in older ovulatory women?

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Reproductive ageing and ovarian function: is the early follicular phase FSH rise necessary to maintain adequate secretory function in older ovulatory women?

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Title: Reproductive ageing and ovarian function: is the early follicular phase FSH rise necessary to maintain adequate secretory function in older ovulatory women?
Author: Bremner, William J.; Sluss, Patrick M.; Klein, Nancy A.; Soules, Michael R.; Hansen, Karl R.; Thyer, Angela C.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Serum FSH elevations and decreases in inhibin B have been consistently demonstrated in the early follicular phase of cycles in women of advanced reproductive age. However, secretory products of the dominant follicle (estradiol and inhibin A) in the serum of older ovulatory women are maintained at levels similar to those of their younger counterparts. The goal of this investigation was to determine if ovarian secretory capacity is dependent on relative FSH levels and if basal measures of ovarian reserve reflect ovarian secretory capacity. METHODS: We administered equivalent low, but effective doses of recombinant FSH for 5 days to a group of older subjects (40-45 years, n=9) and younger controls (20-25 years, n=10) after pituitary suppression with a GnRH agonist. Outcome measures included follicular development as determined by serial transvaginal ultrasound examinations and serum levels of estradiol, inhibin A and inhibin B. RESULTS: Serum levels of estradiol and inhibin A were not statistically different between the two groups, while the number of large follicles formed was greater in the younger subjects. Basal parameters of ovarian reserve were not significantly correlated with ovarian secretory capacity, but did correlate with the number of follicles recruited in response to low-dose FSH. CONCLUSIONS: By providing equivalent serum levels of FSH in older and younger reproductive aged women, this study demonstrates that the secretory capacity of recruited follicles is maintained in older reproductive aged women.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1773/4359

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