Blood Type Affects Chances of Getting Pregnant

2010-10-25 09:44

Women who are having difficulty getting pregnant may be able to point to their blood type as a possible cause. Researchers have found that women who have blood type O seem to have poorer quality eggs and a lower egg count than women with other blood types.

Blood type O may make conception more difficult

Among a group of 560 women (average age just under 35) who were seeking fertility treatment, investigators found that women who had blood type A can go to the top of the class, as this type seems to be associated with more and better quality eggs. Women who had type O blood, however, were more likely to have higher levels of FSH, or follicle stimulating hormone.

FSH is produced by the body to stimulate the follicles in the ovaries, which make eggs. Both women and men can take an FSH test to help clinicians determine a cause of infertility. High FSH levels are usually considered to be an indication of primary ovarian failure and a low egg count.

Specifically, women in the study with blood type O were twice as likely to have an FSH level greater than 10, which is the threshold between normal and raised. Production of FSH is typically increased as a woman’s ovaries runs out of eggs in her 30s and 40s. Obesity also affects the number of a woman’s eggs.

Although all blood contains the same basic components, not all blood is alike. The difference lies in the presence or absence of substances called antigens, which can trigger an immune response if the body perceives them as foreign.

Of the eight different common blood types, type O is the most common, according to the American Red Cross. It is found in 45 percent of whites, 51 percent of blacks, 57 percent of Hispanics, and 40 percent of Asians.

According to Dr. Edward Nejat, of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and the study’s lead author, women with blood type O who are looking for a reason for their infertility “have a higher likelihood to be diagnosed with elevated FSH and hence manifest diminished ovarian reserve.” He pointed out that this was the first study to identify a potential link between a woman’s blood type and fertility.

Although the results of this study of blood type are “interesting,” according to Tony Rutherford, chairman of the British Fertility Society, he noted that more research is necessary. “We need to look at a prospective group of women to see if blood group affects your chance of getting pregnant,” he said in a Telegraph article.

SOURCES:
American Red Cross
UK Telegraph

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