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Maturitas. 2006 Mar 20;53(4):405-12. Epub 2005 Aug 18.

Determinants of ovarian volume in pre-, menopausal transition, and post-menopausal women: a population-based study.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Universidade de Passo Fundo, Rua Teixeira Soares 885, Sala 704, 99010-081 Passo Fundo, RS, Brazil.



To verify the association of smoking, parity, body mass index, use of oral contraceptives, and hormone therapy with ovarian volume in pre-, menopausal transition, and post-menopausal women from southern Brazil.


Cross-sectional study with 273 women aged 36-62 years, representative of the urban population of Passo Fundo, southern Brazil. Participants completed an in-home interview and had their anthropometric measurements and ultrasound exams performed at a clinical center, using a standardized method. The right and left ovaries were measured by ultrasound. Mean ovarian volume was calculated according to age, menopausal status, smoking habit, parity, body mass index (BMI), use of oral contraceptives (OC), and hormone therapy (HT).


Ovarian volume decreased after the age of 44 years when adjusted for menopausal status and OC use (p = 0.010). The mean ovarian volume decreased with menopausal status adjusted for age (p = 0.001) and with current OC use, adjusted for age (p = 0.001). There was a positive association between ovarian volume and BMI>or=30 in every woman adjusted for menopausal status and age (p = 0.005). On the other hand, there was no association with smoking, past OC use, and HT. In a linear regression model, post-menopause, menopausal transition, age, and BMI were significantly and independently associated with ovarian volume.


Ovarian volume decreases with menopausal transition and even more in post-menopause. The reduction of ovarian volume also occurred with aging and OC use. Ovarian volume, however, is positively associated with obesity. Smoking, parity, and hormone treatment do not affect ovarian volume in pre-, menopausal transition, and post-menopausal women.

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