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Monday 25th June 2018

Blood type influences fertility

26th October 2010

A woman's blood type may contribute to her ability to conceive, according to a recent US study.


The researchers found a statistical link between having type O blood and having low egg counts, in women.

The researchers also found that women whose blood was type A were less likely to have problems conceiving.

Lead researcher Edward Nejat, of the department of obstetrics and gynaecology at Albert Einstein College in New York, said that type O patients who sought treatment at two different infertility centres in the US had elevated levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).

High levels of FSH are widely believed to signify infertility.

For the study, the researchers examined about 560 women, all of whom were undergoing fertility treatment, some of whom were younger than 35.

Using blood samples, the researchers measured the womens' blood levels of FSH.

They found that, in all the women studied, there was a positive link between the type O blood type and relatively high levels of FSH.

Najat said that, in both groups of women seeking fertility treatment, those with type O blood were twice as likely to have high levels of FSH than those who were types A and AB.

People who have type A blood carry the A antigen, and people who have type AB blood carry both A antigens and B antigens.

These additional antigens add an extra amount of immune protection to the human body.

People who have type O blood lack blood-related antigens, however.

Najat said his team found that women who had A and AB blood types, and the antigens that came with them, were protected from the effect of diminished ovarian reserve.

He also said that the people he studied were a good mix ethnically and racially, allowing his team to make firm statistical conclusions about the presence of high FSH in type O women who sought infertility treatment.

He said, however, that high FSH levels were only one fertility marker, and that women's ages mattered far more when determining their success in conceiving.

Tony Rutherford, chair of the British Fertility Society, said there were other hormones that merited study besides FSH, some of which were based on more up-to-date data.

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