Infertility linked to low birth weight of mothers
While it is known that babies born pre-term or with a low birth weight are at greater risk of developing diseases like metabolic syndrome, researchers have now said that girls born underweight appear to be twice as likely to have fertility problems in adulthood than girls born at normal weight.
In the first study to investigate the association, researchers from Sweden analysed case records of 1206 women born from 1973 who were in a heterosexual relationship and accepted for infertility treatment at a major centre between 2005 and 2010.
The primary cause of infertility – female, combined, male or unexplained – was established from the patients' medical records, while details of their birth size, age and weight were gathered from Sweden's national medical birth register.
Infertility was attributed to female causes in 38.5% of the cases; male causes in fewer than 27%; combined causes in just under 7%; and unexplained infertility in 28%