Reduced Uterine and Ovarian Size in Adolescent Girls Born Small for Gestational Age

Abstract

Reduced fetal growth is known to be associated with a reduced ovarian fraction of primordial follicles, with ovarian hyperandrogenism and anovulation in late adolescence. In this study, we examined whether adolescent girls born small for gestational age also present an abnormality in uterine or ovarian size. Standardized ultrasound measurements of the internal genitalia were performed in 36 healthy post-menarcheal girls (mean age 14 y) born with a size that was either appropriate for gestational age (AGA) or small (SGA), birth weight averaging 0.1 and −3.0 SD, respectively; clinical and endocrine characteristics were documented concomitantly. Compared with AGA girls, the SGA girls had a smaller uterus (mean difference of 20%;p < 0.006) and a reduced ovarian volume (mean difference of 38%;p < 0.0002). In conclusion, the gynecological correlates of prenatal growth restriction are herewith extended to include a reduced size of the uterus and the ovaries.

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Figure 1

Abbreviations

AGA:

appropriate for gestational age

SGA:

small for gestational age

SHBG:

sex hormone-binding globulin

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Correspondence to Lourdes Ibáñez.

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