Blood group affects fertility

Women with type O blood may struggle to conceive due to lower egg quality and count, scientists have found

Marie Claire Health News
Marie Claire Health News

Women with type O blood may struggle to conceive due to lower egg quality and count, scientists have found

A woman's ability to get pregnant may be influenced by her blood group, according to new research.

The US study of 560 women undergoing fertility treatment found that those with type O blood appeared to have a lower egg count and poorer egg quality than others, and could have more trouble conceiving as they age.

Approximately 44% of the population has type O blood, making it the most common blood group in the UK.

The researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and Yale University looked at the levels of a chemical called follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in women of an average age of 35.

A woman has a fixed number of eggs - known as her ‘ovarian reserve’ - which are released gradually over her fertile life. High levels of FSH are thought to be an indicator that this reserve is quickly diminishing, which can reduce chances of conception once a woman reaches her 30s and 40s.

Analysis of blood samples revealed that the women with type O blood were more likely to have higher FSH readings. Those with type A blood had significantly lower FSH levels.

Dr Edward Nejat, who led the study, said: ‘A woman's age remains the most important factor in determining her success of conceiving. The baseline FSH gives us an idea of the quality and quantity of a woman's eggs.’

Tony Rutherford, chairman of the British Fertility Society, said: ‘This is the first time that researchers have shown a link between blood group and potential for fertility. But we really need to look at it with more up-to-date tests of ovarian reserve and to look at a prospective group of women to see if blood group affects your chance of getting pregnant.’


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