A study done by Italian researchers says that how long women can stay fertile may be decided by the season they are born in. The research says that when the women will enter their menopause may also be decided by the time of their birth.
The study had looked into the data collected from nearly 3000 postmenopausal women and the results are published in the new issue of the journal Human Reproduction.
The results of the study show that the average age of menopause for women was 49.4 years for those who were born in spring, while it was 49.9 years for those who were born in autumn. The authors of the study say that one of the possible reasons of such variation may be the seasonal environmental factor influencing the oocytes' maturation. Some other possibilities of such difference due to seasons may be the modifications of environmental temperature and sunlight that can influence foetal growth. This can affect the future reproductive capabilities of women. Also seasonally linked diet modifications or exposure to infections due to season change may be other possibilities.
Researchers feel that their study shows that prenatal environment not only decides the health of the child but also exerts considerable influence on the reproductive abilities of the child as well.
Reference: European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), news release, May 2005