Context: Adequate uterine volume and ovarian reserve are essential for reproductive health. Antenatal events such as restricted fetal growth and maternal tobacco smoking are hypothesized to impact on reproductive function in later life, although not studied in a large prospective normal pregnancy population to date.
Objective: The objective of the study was to determine the relationship between intrauterine growth, birth weight, and maternal tobacco smoking on uterine volume and ovarian reserve in adolescence.
Design and Setting: This was a prospective study in which half the cohort underwent intensive ultrasound monitoring in utero.
Participants: Intrauterine growth was measured using ultrasound at 18, 24, 28, and 34/36 wk gestation (n = 115 girls). Maternal smoking data were prospectively collected at 18 and 34/36 wk from the whole cohort. Uterine (n = 229) and early follicular ovarian volume and antral follicle count (n = 225) were measured using transabdominal ultrasound (n = 230). Ovarian reserve was estimated using early follicular phase anti-Mullerian hormone, inhibin B, and FSH (n = 213).
Main Outcome Measures: The relationship between maternal tobacco smoking, intrauterine growth trajectories, and markers of ovarian reserve and uterine size in adolescence was measured.
Results: Linear regression showed that daughters of mothers who smoked had a significantly smaller uterus compared with nonsmokers (P = 0.019). No significant relationship between maternal tobacco smoking and ovarian volume (P = 0.164) or markers of ovarian reserve (antral follicle count, plasma FSH, anti-Mullerian hormone, and inhibin B) in adolescence was determined.
Conclusions: Our findings indicate that maternal smoking, but not variations in fetal growth, may lead to a reduction in uterine volume and does not appear to impact ovarian reserve.