Influence of preterm birth and small birth size on serum anti-Müllerian hormone levels in young adult women
Background/objectives: Preterm birth has been associated with reduced reproduction rates, and controversies remain regarding the effect of being born small for gestational age (SGA) on ovarian function. Recent findings in young men showed no effect of preterm and SGA birth on testis function. We hypothesised that follicle pool size in young adult women is also not affected by preterm and SGA birth. Design/methods: In 279 young women of the PROGRAM/PREMS study, aged 18-24 years, the influence of gestational age, birth length and birth weight on serum levels of anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) was analysed with multiple regression modelling. Additionally, AMH levels were analysed in preterm- versus term-born females and in three subgroups: females born SGA with either short stature or catch-up growth (SGA-CU), and females born term and appropriate for gestational age with normal stature (AGA controls). Results: Preterm and SGA birth did not affect AMH and other hormone levels. Older age at menarche and oral contraceptive pill use (OC-use) were related to lower AMH levels, and maternal smoking during gestation was related to higher AMH levels. After correction for maternal smoking, lower socioeconomic status (SES) was associated with lower AMH levels. In subgroup comparisons, SGA-CU women showed higher AMH levels than AGA controls, also after adjustment for several factors. Conclusion: Preterm and SGA birth did not affect AMH levels. Factors associated with serum AMH levels were OC-use, age at menarche, maternal smoking during gestation and SES. We conclude that preterm- and/or SGA-born females are not likely to have a reduced follicle pool size.