If you are a woman, you know that you will eventually go into menopause. That’s the time later in life when your period permanently stops and you are no longer able to have children. Most women go into menopause in their 40s or 50s.
But have you ever wondered why women experience menopause? One research team headed by Rama Singh, a professor in the department of biology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, claims men are the cause of menopause.
In a research paper published in the June issue of PLOS Computational Biology, Singh and his colleagues explained their hypothesis that menopause is actually a result of a “male mating preference for younger females”.
A key factor in their research is the idea that people have sex both to create children and because, as Singh says, “Sex is fun.” He believes that over time, men found having sex with younger women to be more enjoyable even when they were not concerned about the woman’s ability to successfully have a child.
Singh, an evolutionary geneticist, contends that this preference allowed changes in genes later in life to send women into menopause.
Singh explained that if his model is correct, male preference for younger women would, over time, allow genetic mutations to accumulate in older women resulting in a decline in fertility. Therefore he believes that older women’s lack of reproduction due to men’s preference for younger sex partners is the cause of menopause.
Dr. Mache Seibel, America’s health expert and editor of My Menopause Magazine, disagrees with Singh’s conclusions. Seibel said, “The conclusions place a much heavier emphasis on statistics than on sound thinking. Menopause as we know it today has more to do with the fact that women live longer now than ever before.”
Seibel also pointed out that women have a greater chance of successfully carrying a child to term earlier in their life.
Seibel said, “Women are born with approximately 7 million eggs and by puberty, the number is down to 400,000 which are ovulated in groups of 30 or so over the next 30 years.