Sex can have a significant impact on menopause and shorten it. It mainly depends on how often women have sex. Because too little sexual activity causes the body to stop ovulating, says a British study.
According to “dailymail.co.uk”, experts from University College London asked almost 3,000 women who had been followed for over ten years how often they had sex. The women, who were on average 45 years old, were asked not only about the frequency of their sexual activity but also about the type (full sexual intercourse, oral sex, sexual touch or masturbation). The study then compared the results of women who had sex weekly with those who had sex monthly or even less than once a month.
The experts found that in women who had sex every week, the onset or the period of menopause was significantly delayed. The reason mentioned: in women who have no or very little sex, the body invests the free energies in stopping ovulation.
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According to the results of the study, women who have regular sex are 28 percent less likely to go through menopause at the age of 51. The researchers found that the most common pattern of sexual activity was weekly (at 64 percent). None of the participating women with weekly sex had already entered menopause. However, 46 percent of them had symptoms of the so-called perimenopause, which begins one to two years before the actual menopause. The remaining 54 percent were still on their periods and had no other symptoms. The surveys were carried out both when the women participated for the first time and ten years later.
Women who had sex weekly went through menopause later compared to those who had sex monthly. Women who had sex every month were also 19 percent less likely to have early menopause than women who had no sex at all.
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Why the body stops ovulating
If a woman does not have sex and there is no chance of pregnancy, the body decides not to invest any more energy in ovulation, but to compensate for it elsewhere – for example when looking after grandchildren. The theory known as the grandmother hypothesis is that menopause evolved so that grandmothers, for example, would help their offspring have more children by looking after the grandchildren they had. When pregnancy is unlikely due to a lack of sexual activity, the body would prefer to shift its focus from an energy-intensive process to supporting existing relatives. This process is a natural part of aging and usually occurs in women between 45 and 55.
“Menopause is, of course, inevitable for women, and there is no behavioral intervention that will prevent cessation of reproduction,” says Professor Ruth Mace, who co-authored the study. “Still, these results are a first indication that the timing of menopause may adjust to the likelihood of pregnancy.”
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