Friday, August 6, 2021

Genetic variations could one day help predict timing of menopause


     Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) showing cells coloured pink and brown.Recent studies have shown that there are numerous genetic variants that are involved in determining the age of the onset of menopause. People who are born with ovaries have a set number of oocytes that will either mature into eggs or be destroyed if they contain damaged DNA. As these people get older, the number of these cells continues to decrease until this store of eggs is completely gone and menopause sets in. Researchers have found 290 different variants that determine when that store of eggs will become depleted. The biggest gene to affect this is CHEK2, which can delay menopause for a few years by affecting the CHEK2 protein. Researchers are looking into how they can target this gene in order to help women who want to have kids later in life. This study has only been done in mice so far but one day they hope to be able to see it in humans.


  1. Avoiding menopause for as long as possible can be beneficial for more reasons than just having children. When menopause occurs, the female body is producing hormones at a rate that it never has before. This can cause a plethora of side effects that make the transition very unenjoyable. Finding a way to hold off menopause, even prepare for it can be a medical advancement in treatment for this life altering time.

  2. I read a similar article. Studying these genetic variants is incredibly beneficial because it allows us to learn about the female reproductive cycle, such as why certain women have delayed menopause. Knowing these things allows women to prepare themselves and seek help accordingly. Last but not least, I think it would be helpful and useful if a diagnostic test was developed that would predict when women would begin their menopause cycles.