Blame Men for Menopause

By  , BBC News
Jun 15, 2013

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women from three generations smilingEvolutionary geneticists from Canada’s McMaster University say that a man’s tendency to choose a younger mate meant that fertility was pointless for older women. According to a UK expert, men chose younger women because they are more fertile than older ones. Researchers have for several years been puzzled as to why humans are the only species that cannot reproduce throughout their lives. Several researches in the past have emphasised on the “grandmother effect”, which suggests that a woman loses her fertility at an age when she may not live to see a child grow and are instead available to take care of younger women’s children. The menopause was therefore, seen as a block to women older in age from continuing to reproduce.

The latest theory says that it is the other way around and that a lack of reproduction has lead to menopause. He team from McMaster concluded that it is the preferential mating that has lead people to believe that it is worthwhile to marry a younger woman than an old one because the former is more fertile implying that there is no purpose in an older woman continuing to be fertile.

In the UK, the average age for a woman to go through menopause is 52 year even though on an average, a woman goes on to live 30 more years. Prof Rama Singh said that now that women are trying to conceive later because of education and career, there is a possibility of them experiencing menopause at a later stage.

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