Researchers have been taking on the mystery of menopause as of late. In Italy, scientists developed a test that can tell a 20-year-old when her fertility will shut down. Here in the U.S., some doctors want more testing for POI, in which period problems mask early onset of menopause.
Now new research has found that exposure to certain hormone mimicking chemicals in the womb could mean shortened fertility for the females who had been exposed.
And also, older moms might have more fertile daughters.
A study of 20,000 American and Puerto Rican woman shows that the daughters of mothers who were exposed to DES, an artificial estrogen once given to women to reduce the risk of miscarriage and help with nausea, experienced menopause earlier than those whose mothers were not.
On average, 51 is the age women can expect to experience their last period. About half of the daughters in the study experienced menopause before 52. Researchers found that certain characteristics and exposures of the mother could bump up or back that number.
They also stumbled on to an interesting finding: the daughters of women who gave birth at 35 and older experienced menopause at a later age. They also found that breastfeeding, smoking exposure and birth order played no significant role in menopause for the daughters.