Type O blood may be fertility barrier

A woman's blood group could influence her chances of getting pregnant, scientists claim. Women with blood type O may struggle to conceive, they said, due to a lower egg count and poorer egg quality, according to a study. Women with blood group A seem to be better protected against falling egg counts.

The finding could prompt experts to look more closely at a woman's blood group when charting her fertility. More than 560 women, with an average age of 35, who were undergoing fertility treatment took part in the research, led by experts from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and Yale University.

Blood samples were taken to measure levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), a well-known marker of fertility. FSH levels greater than 10 suggest a woman will have more difficulty conceiving than those whose levels are under 10. A high FSH level indicates a diminished ovarian reserve, which refers to both egg quality and the number of eggs left available for fertilisation. The ovarian reserve tends to decline significantly as a woman reaches her mid and late 30s and faster in the early 40s.

The study found that women with blood type O were twice as likely to have an FSH level greater than 10 as those in any other blood group. The findings held true even when a woman's age was taken into account, and the fact the women came from two different clinics.

Those with blood group A were "significantly less likely" to have an FSH level greater than 10 than those who were blood group O. Some 44 per cent of the UK population are blood group O and 42 per cent are type A. People with blood group A carry the A antigen, which is a protein on the surface of the cell, but this is absent in people with O type.

Dr Edward Nejat, from the department of obstetrics and gynaecology at Albert Einstein College, said FSH levels were just one marker of fertility and more studies were needed. "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."

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

    £23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company has over 40 years ...

    Recruitment Genius: Weekend Factory Operatives

    £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This high quality thread manufacturer is curr...

    Recruitment Genius: FP&A Analyst

    £40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A market leading acquirer and m...

    Recruitment Genius: Electricians

    £35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fully qualified electricians re...

    Day In a Page

    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific