The birth of twins in a family is always a source of family interest and general curiosity. Twins occur in over 1 % of all pregnancies and also cause pregnancy related complications for their mothers and are subject to ill health problems as newborns and infants. But this is not all, it has now been revealed that female twins are four times more likely to reach menopause early when compared to other women.
The study examined different aspects health in over 1700 twins and it was found out that in some cases, only one twin was affected. One of the best examples to substantiate the observed fact is the recent issue when one of the Yarber sisters donated her healthy ovarian tissue to her infertile twin.
The transplant has enabled Stephanie Yarber, who went through menopause at the age of 14 to have her own baby. It is believed that premature menopause in identical twins might be to do with the embryo splitting process. Monozygotic twins are derived form a single zygote that divides into two separate entities within the first 2 weeks of development.
About 1% of women in general have gone through the menopause by the age of 40, but among the twins the figure was about 5%. By 45, more than 15% of the twins had gone through the menopause, in contrast to about 5% of the general female population.
The further study of similarities and differences among identical twins is needed to address the questions regarding the associated heredity and environmental factors.
Studies directed towards identifying molecular basis for the differences between twins would probably pave way for predicting the size of the egg pool and determining the age of menopause in the years to come.