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Access Type

Open Access

Document Type


Degree Program

Public Health

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Adiposity, BMI, Anovulation, Menstrual Cycle


Anovulation accounts for approximately 12 percent of all female infertility in the United States. Prior studies suggest women with high body mass index (BMI) have an increased risk of infertility, particularly obese women with abnormal cycle lengths. To date no studies have examined the relationship between measures of adiposity, including BMI and percent body fat measured by DXA scan (%BF), and anovulation among women with regular menstrual cycles assessed with biomarkers. We evaluated this association using data from the BioCycle study, a prospective cohort of 259 women with regular menstrual cycles. All measures of adiposity and covariates were collected at baseline. Anovulation was assessed via luteinizing hormone and progesterone levels in urine samples collected 16 times throughout two menstrual cycles.
A total of 34 women had at least one anovulatory cycle during the study. Unadjusted models for BMI show a significant decrease in risk comparing highest BMI quartile to the lowest, (OR: 0.29; 95% CI .090-.968). Once multivariable logistic regression was used to adjust for age no significant associations were found in any BMI quartile, but point estimates did not change significantly. Similar trends were found using other measures of adiposity. Results show that there is a non-significant inverse trend between adiposity and anovulation in healthy women with regular menstrual cycles. This relationship can possibly be explained by age due to the influence of time since menarche (TSM). Further research is needed to examine this relationship.


First Advisor

Brian Whitcomb

Second Advisor

Elizabeth R. Bertone-Johnson

Included in

Epidemiology Commons