Ovarian reserve in young women of reproductive age with Crohn's disease

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2012 Aug;18(8):1515-22. doi: 10.1002/ibd.21872. Epub 2011 Sep 20.


Background: Crohn's disease (CD) mainly affects young adults of reproductive age. Whereas a large amount of data is available concerning pregnancy in young CD women, no study has been conducted on their ovarian reserve status. This study aimed to investigate the potential effect of CD on ovarian reserve in young women in remission, as reflected by serum anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH).

Methods: This retrospective case-control study was conducted in the University Hospital of Nantes, France. Serum levels of AMH were retrospectively measured in 50 women with CD in remission and in 163 control women with normal ovarian reserve, matched by age.

Results: No statistical difference was found between mean serum AMH levels in CD and control women. Serum AMH levels remained comparable between CD and control women <30 years, but they were significantly lower in CD women ≥ 30 years compared to the control group. Furthermore, the negative correlation between age and AMH level tended to be more pronounced in CD than control women. Multivariate analysis of CD patients' clinical and demographic characteristics showed that serum AMH level was influenced by disease location, with a colonic location of the disease being independently associated with a high risk of altered ovarian reserve.

Conclusions: Women with CD do not have severe ovarian reserve alterations compared to a control population. However, age ≥ 30 years and a colonic location of the disease could be associated with an accelerated loss of follicles. These data could encourage gastroenterologists to inform CD women of the risk of delaying childbirth.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone / blood*
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Crohn Disease / complications*
  • Crohn Disease / surgery
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • France
  • Humans
  • Ovary / physiopathology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prognosis
  • Reproduction / physiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone