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Menopause. 2000 Jan-Feb;7(1):53-61.

Ovarian volume and menopausal status.

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Department of Epidemiology/Preventive Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore 21201, USA.



The purposes of this study were to (1) examine whether ovarian volume differs by age and menopausal status in healthy women; (2) evaluate whether ovarian volume could be a sensitive and specific predictor of menopausal status; and (3) assess whether ovarian volume is affected by cigarette smoke, oral contraceptives (OCs), and hormone replacement therapy (HRT).


Each participant (527 women) completed an extensive in-home interview that assessed age, menopausal status, smoking history, OC use, and HRT use. Each participant also received a transvaginal ultrasound that measured ovarian volume. Geometric means for ovarian volume were compared between premenopausal and postmenopausal women using t tests. Tests for trends were conducted using linear regression analyses.


Ovarian volume declined with age (p < or = 0.0001) and also differed by menopausal status; postmenopausal women had smaller ovarian volumes than premenopausal women of the same age (p < or = 0.0001). Ovarian volume was not associated with smoking history or HRT use. However, it was significantly smaller in current users of OCs compared with past users of or those who never used OCs (p < or = 0.0001). Ovarian volume was a sensitive and specific predictor of postmenopausal status.


The data suggest that age, menopausal status, and OC use may be determinants of ovarian volume. They also suggest that ovarian volume may be useful for predicting menopausal status in women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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