Menopause is that phase of life in a woman’s life that comes along with a lot of complications, be it on the physical health or even on the mental well being of an individual. But, what if there was a link between sexual health with the onset of early menopause?
A new study conducted by the researchers from the University College London have found that the women who indulge in sex weekly and monthly are less likely at risk in comparison to the women who don’t have an active sexual health.
According to the findings, the researchers suggested saying that the women who actively have sex weekly or monthly are 28% less likely to experience menopause in comparison to the ones who don’t have sex frequently. The prospects of sexual activity in such case can include intercourse, oral sex, caressing and even cuddling.
The entire research is based off of the data from the USA’s Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN).
Megan Arnot, who is a PhD candidate in the UCL Anthropology department and the first author of the study, found that when a woman is not having sex, there are no chances for a possible pregnancy, which later programs the body to not invest their energy in the process of ovulation. There are chances of a biological energy trade off instead of investing the same on the process of ovulation.
The situation wherein a woman ceases fertility to invest more of their time in managing their family is a condition which is known as Grandmother Hypothesis. According to the hypothesis, it suggests that the prospects of menopause in individuals evolved to help reduce the reproductive conflict between the varying generations of women and to help enhance their fitness for helping take care of the families.
Ovulation is the time of the month during which the immune system and function is often impaired, making the body a lot more susceptible to infections and diseases. The lack of sexual activity reduces the risks of a pregnancy, which is why the body decides it is better to allocate the energy along with the cost to the next of kin, who does need the same.
The study was conducted with the data collected from 2,936 women who have been struggling with the prospects of menopause.
The women included in the study were asked to respond to a number of questions, including the recent details surrounding their sex life. The most frequent pattern that the individuals experienced and reported on was on a weekly basis which amounted to around 64%.
Amidst the participants, none of them were in their menopause but 46% of the individuals were reported to be in their peri-menopause phase and around 54% of them were in their pre-menopausal stage.
Following the initial study, a follow up was conducted around 10 years later, following which the researchers found that 1,324 women, which compromised 45% of the total participants experienced natural menopause at the age of 52.
The researchers then modeled the prospects of the sexual frequency with that of the age of the natural menopause and found that the women who had sex weekly had a hazard ratio of 0.72 which was 0.81 for the ones who didn’t indulge in sex on a daily basis.
In accordance to the final readings from the study, it was found that the individuals who indulged in sex on a weekly basis had 28% less risks of early menopause while the ones who indulged in sex monthly had 19% less risks of early menopause.
The researchers also did control for a number of involved factors including the estrogen levels , BMI, race, smoking habits, first age of menstruation and a few other factors involved.
The study also looked into the prospects of whether or not living with a male partner had any kind of influence on the prospects of menopause, testing whether the exposure to male pheromones had any triggering effects on the cycle. The researchers however found no correlation to the same at all.
It is true that menopause is a natural process that every woman is likely to experience in their lifetime. But, it is also likely that there could be behavioural interventions that could further contribute to the condition, bringing for the risks of early menopause in women.