(HealthDay News) — For women born with low birth weight or small for gestational age, the odds of female-related infertility are increased, according to a study published online March 10 in BMJ Open.

Josefin Vikström, MD, from Linköping University in Sweden, and colleagues examined birth characteristics in a case-control study involving 1,206 women who were part of a heterosexual couple seeking infertility treatment. The correlation between birth characteristics (low birth weight, small for gestational age, and large for gestational age) and infertility was assessed by main cause of infertility (female, male, combined, unexplained).

The researchers found that women seeking infertility treatment due to female causes rather than male or unexplained causes had a significantly increased risk of having been born with low birth weight (odds ratio, 2.40). The likelihood of being born small for gestational age was significantly increased for women with a female infertility factor, compared with those with unexplained infertility (odds ratio, 2.73).

“Women born with low birth weight or small for gestational age seem to suffer an increased risk of infertility due to a female factor,” the authors write “Thus, infants born with birth characteristics that deviate from the norm may be at greater risk of difficulties in childbearing later on in life.”

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