Researchers in the Netherlands have identified the genetic factors responsible for natural menopause. They hope that the findings may help in devising better treatments for infertility.
They found 20 genetic variants known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which indicate that a woman may attain early menopause.
"We found that the 20 SNPs were all related to a slightly earlier menopause, and women who had one of them experienced menopause nearly a year earlier than others," said co-researcher Lisette Stolk, from Erasmus University in Rotterdam."In Western countries, where women tend to have children later in life and closer to menopause, age at menopause can be an important factor in whether or not a particular woman is able to become a mother."
The average age for menopause is 50 years, but some women attain it earlier and because most couples delay having children early in their married life, infertility becomes an issue.
This study may help identify such women and provide timely treatment. The details of the study were presented at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Genetics in Vienna.