London: Women might soon be able to take a genetic test in their twenties that would foresee how long they can delay bearing a child, a new study has suggested.
Researchers have found a group of genes that can indicate when women go through menopause and stop being fertile.
The test, which will cost around 50 pounds, would be available within a decade and be eventually able to predict within five years when women will go through the change.
"The ultimate goal is one day be able to predict when someone is going through the menopause," the Telegraph quoted study leader Anna Murray from the University of Exeter Peninsula Medical School, as saying.
"It is estimated that a woman``s ability to conceive decreases on average 10 years before she starts the menopause.
"We should therefore be able to help them make a decision about when they should be looking to have children.
"These findings are the first stage in developing an easy and relatively inexpensive genetic test which could help the one in 20 women who may be affected by early menopause," said Murray.
The new study found four genes that double the chance of early menopause and that raised the risk from five to 10 per cent.
It is believed in most women that genes contribute to about half the risk factors involved with early onset menopause, lifestyle and diet account for the rest.
If the genes indicate a high risk, then women can adjust their lifestyle to counter balance them.
For the study, a total of 2,000 women who had experienced early menopause were compared with a matched number who had not.
DNA tests identified the four genes that raise the risk of an early menopause.
The findings were published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics.