Changing Seasons Linked to Start of Menopause

It peaked in spring, autumn among women in European study

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THURSDAY, June 10, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- The changing of seasons may have a major impact on the start of menopause.

In a study reported in the June 10 issue of Human Reproduction, Hungarian researchers analyzed results of questionnaires filled out by 102 women at a menopause clinic. The results showed a high peak in menopause onset after the spring equinox and another, somewhat smaller, peak after the autumn equinox.

"Seasonal variations of reproductive functions in wild animals are well known, and similar but not so definite seasonal trends have been described for humans," research leader Dr. Janos Garai said in a prepared statement.

"The menopause is a complex set of symptoms that we know is determined partly by external and partly by internal influences, but there are only scarce data about the exact nature of environmental and/or lifestyle determinants. So we wanted to find out more in the hope that this might help in the future in implementing innovative approaches to treating problems in the menopause," Garai said.

"The seasonality we found seems to support the influence of environmental factors on female human reproductive functions even when they are declining. The pattern of the peaks following the equinoxes appears to be similar to the bimodal distribution of conceptions in Eastern Europe," he said.

More information

The U.S. National Women's Health Information Center has more about menopause.

SOURCE: Human Reproduction, news release, June 10, 2004

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