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Research studies that have looked at the impact of a BRCA mutation on fertility have yielded mixed results. A study done by Steven Narod and colleagues showed no association between BRCA mutations and infertility. A separate study showed that women with BRCA1 mutations had fewer eggs retrieved when undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) compared to women without BRCA mutations. Researchers at the University of California at San Francisco studied women with BRCA1/2 mutations who had not had prophylactic surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation, to determine when they went through natural menopause. Compared to women without known mutations, mutation carriers experienced menopause sooner than women who had not been tested for the mutation.
In addition to reproductive issues caused by BRCA mutations, chemotherapy used to treat breast cancer can also lead to early menopause.