Here's how having less sex is linked to earlier menopause

Having less sex linked to earlier menopause

Having less sex linked to earlier menopause

Women approaching menopause who have frequent sex are less likely to cross that threshold than women of the same age who are not as active sexually, researchers said Wednesday. It said that the women who reported sexual activity weekly had 28 percent fewer chances of reaching early menopause. This measure of sexual activity included penetrative sex, oral sex, sexual touching and masturbation.

In contrast to previous studies, the team didn't find that being married was linked with the onset of the menopause, likely because of the methods used to collect such information in the past.

She said the findings lend weight to the idea that the human menopause originally evolved to reduce reproductive conflict between generations of females and to allow older women to increase their fitness through investing in their grandchildren.

During ovulation, a woman is more susceptible to disease because the immune system is impaired, Arnot said.

In the study, Arnot's group analyzed data from almost 3,000 women who were first interviewed at age 45 in 1996-1997. Most of the women were non-Hispanic Caucasian, and they were educated to above a high school level.

Going into the study, almost 78 percent of the women were married or in a relationship with a man, and 68 percent lived with their partner.

The women were asked to respond to several questions, including how often they engaged in sex and whether they had taken part in oral sex, sexual touching, caressing or self-stimulation in the past six months.

Having sex or engaging in regular sexual activity may lower the risk of early menopause, scientists say.

During the following decade, 45 percent of the women experienced a natural menopause, at an average age of 52.

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Having sex weekly or monthly may help women postpone menopause, a new study has found. Likewise, those who had sex monthly were 19% less likely to experience menopause at any given age compared to those who had sex less than monthly.

Our results were found to be significant even after taking into consideration other behavioural and physiological factors, such as the woman's body mass index, the number of children she's had, her educational attainment and oestrogen levels.

The study also tested whether living with a male partner affected menopause as a proxy to test whether exposure to male pheromones delayed menopause.

The researchers said some women may have less sex because of the symptoms of the menopause, including vaginal dryness and discomfort, and they adjusted for this when analyzing the data.

"Menopause is, of course, an inevitability for women, and there is no behavioral intervention that will prevent reproductive cessation", co-author Ruth Mace, a professor of anthropology at University College London, added.

In evolutionary terms, this means that age of menopause may be somewhat adaptive in response to the likelihood of becoming pregnant.

Natasha Downes, UCL Media Relations.

The study, in the journal Royal Society Open Science, followed almost 3,000 women with an average starting age of 45.

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