If you are planning to become a parent, you may have considered many factors that can influence your fertility. Lifestyle, general health, and age are some of the most important factors known in determining how fertile you are. However, you have probably never considered your blood type.
Blood Type Influences Fertility
New research suggests that a woman’s blood type could be an important factor in their fertility. That’s right. The blood type that you were born with could be influencing your chances to get pregnant. Obviously there is nothing that you can do to change your blood type. However, being aware of the influence of blood type on fertility can help you (and your partner and healthcare providers) to better understand your fertility and what the best way for you to conceive will be.
These findings come as the result of studies at Yale Universitym Montifore and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. They studied women up to the age of 45 with a variety of different blood types. The researchers measured the women’s FSH levels (FSH is a hormone associated with the reproductive system. FSH levels can be an indicator of a woman’s egg reserve and, therefore, fertility). They also took note of other factors that could affect fertility. Their findings were recently presented at the annual conference of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
Surprisingly, there seemed to be a significant link between a woman’s blood type and her fertility. According to their findings, women with the blood type “O” were twice as likely as other women to have hormone levels suggesting fertility problems. So far it is not fully understood why the “O” blood type would have so much more risk of infertility than other blood types. Women with “B” blood were the next likely to show signs of a diminished egg reserve, whereas women with types “A” and “AB” appeared to have the highest fertility levels.
According to this study, women with type “O” are more likely to have fertility problems–especially as they age and a woman’s fertility naturally drops.
This has been a groundbreaking study on the connection between blood type and fertility. However, further research will be needed to verify their findings in a wider sample of women and to understand the causes and implications of the findings.
What Does This Mean For You?
Almost half of the American population has blood type “O”. This means that a high percentage of women planning a pregnancy are likely to have “O” blood. Is this a reason for concern? Probably not. Keep in mind that although your fertility levels may be lower than women of other blood types, that does not mean that they actually are low. Speaking from personal experience, my blood type (B) was also listed as being at higher risk of fertility problems. However, I have children and have never had difficulty conceiving.
Blood type is just one of many factors that can influence your fertility. You can focus on factors that you can influence (for example, quit smoking and eat a healthy diet rich in folic acid). If you are having problems conceiving (have been trying for at least 6 months without conception) and have “O” blood type, then talk to your doctor about your options for planning a pregnancy.
“Blood Type O Linked to Fertility Problems”, by Tim Locke, Medscape Today/WebMD Health News
“Blood Typing Facts and Statistics”, Craig Medical Distribution
“Highlights from the 66th Annual Meeting: Women with ‘O’ Blood Type More Likely to Have Diminished Ovarian Reserve”, by ASRM Office of Public Affairs, October 28, 2010