July 6, 2015
Older premenopausal women maintain estrogen levels despite declining ovarian function because of an increase in ovarian aromatase activity, according to research in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Natalie Shaw, MD, MMSc, a clinical and research fellow in the reproductive endocrine unit, department of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues analyzed data from 27 white women aged 22 to 45 years with normal BMI and regular menstrual cycles. Within the cohort, 13 women were aged 36 to 45 years (mean age, 40 years) and 14 women were aged 22 to 34 years (mean age, 27 years). Researchers measured granulosa cell aromatase expression and reproductive hormones in follicular fluid aspirates from the dominant follicle and compared hormone levels between the older and younger women. Participants underwent daily blood tests from the first day of menses until the day of follicle aspiration; researchers performed transvaginal ultrasounds every 2 to 3 days from cycle day 7 on to monitor follicle growth.