Longer anogenital distance is associated with higher testosterone levels in women: a cross-sectional study
Article first published online: 7 FEB 2014
© 2014 Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Volume 121, Issue 11, pages 1359–1364, October 2014
How to Cite
Longer anogenital distance is associated with higher testosterone levels in women: a cross-sectional study. BJOG 2014;121:1359–1364., , , , , , , , .
- Issue published online: 23 SEP 2014
- Article first published online: 7 FEB 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 23 NOV 2013
- Gestión Clínica Avanzada SLU
- Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, Instituto de Salud Carlos III (FIS). Grant Number: PI10/00985
- Fundación Séneca
- Región de Murcia
- Agencia Regional de Ciencia y Tecnología. Grant Number: 08808/PI/08
- anogenital distance;
- prenatal exposure;
Animal models have suggested that anogenital distance (AGD) at birth reflects androgen levels during in utero development and predicts adult AGD. A recent study showed an association between perineal length and androgen levels in men, suggesting that serum testosterone levels in adulthood will depend on factors involved during the fetal period. The aim of this study is to assess the relationship between AGD measures and reproductive hormone levels in women.
Cross-sectional study conducted between February and November 2011.
University-affiliated fertility clinics.
100 young college students.
Physical and gynaecological examinations were conducted on university students. All participants provided a blood sample for determination of reproductive hormones and completed an epidemiological questionnaire on lifestyles and gynaecological history. We used multiple linear regression analysis to examine the associations between perineal length measurements [anus-fourchette (AGDAF) and anus-clitoris (AGDAC)] and reproductive hormone levels.
Main outcome measures
Anogenital distance measurements and reproductive hormone levels.
In the multiple linear regression analyses, AGDAF was positively associated with serum testosterone levels. Serum testosterone increased 0.06 ng/ml (95%CI 0.01, 0.10; P = 0.02) for each 1-cm increase in AGDAF. None of the measurements was associated with other reproductive hormones.
Anogenital distance may predict normal reproductive development in women, and may be a new tool of potential clinical interest to evaluate ovarian function. Our results suggest that serum testosterone levels in adulthood may depend on factors operating in the prenatal period.