Blood type linked to infertility in new study

The most common blood type, O, may be linked to higher infertility in women, according to a new study.

Announced June 11, the Yale University study notes that this applies to women who are already at risk for early ovarian decline, and suggests that there may be something about the molecular makeup of type O blood that predisposes women who are already vulnerable to early ovarian decline to infertility.

Most women experience some ovarian decline in their late thirties to early forties, which researchers said is often reflected in elevated levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). Each month at ovulation, this hormone spikes in a woman's body, signaling the ovaries to release an egg. Once an egg is released, the FSH levels drop, but if an egg is not released, FSH levels remain high, presumably in a continuing attempt to stimulate the ovaries.

Women with ovarian decline typically show elevated levels of FSH, and "that is true of women in their forties as well as younger women who develop diminished ovarian reserve," states health website EMaxHealth.

Study author Lubna Pal said in a press release not to panic, however, if you are type O - that having this blood type does not predict infertility. In the study, only women seeking fertility treatment were used, she noted, so that the findings do not apply to the general population.

Pal suggests elevated levels of FSH in a young, fertile women could be a warning sign to fertility problems down the road. She recommends getting a full fertility assessment, and eating a healthful, balanced diet, exercising regularly, and keeping a healthy weight, factors that all impact fertility.

A recent study also suggests flossing daily and scheduling regular dental appointments for women who want to improve their chances of having a baby. In research presented on July 5 at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Stockholm, poor oral health was linked to fertility problems, delaying conception by about two months.

The latest study was published in the journal Human Reproduction.

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