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Studies Show Extending a Woman's Fertility Could Also Lead to a Longer Life

Additionally, the age a woman hits menopause affects longevity.

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Studies Show Extending a Woman's Fertility Could Also Lead to a Longer Life

Additionally, the age a woman hits menopause affects longevity.

If science could figure out a way to extend fertility, that could potentially also lengthen a woman’s life, according to Jennifer Garrison, an assistant professor at California’s Buck Institute for Research on Aging, which is the world’s first biomedical research institution devoted exclusively to the science of aging.

“We want to extend the number of years someone’s healthy,” Garrison explained to CNN, adding that ovaries are important for both fertility and health. “The decline in ovarian function in the middle of a woman’s life is important … It can cause infertility, birth defects, chromosomal abnormalities.”

Garrison went on to elaborate on how the end of reproduction relates to aging. “Once ovaries stop working and reproduction ceases, there’s a whole host of really important hormones that ovaries make which are important for overall health,” she said. “After a woman goes through menopause, essentially, her body is aging faster. And it increases a risk of a whole host of different health conditions, things like cognitive decline, stroke, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis. After menopause, the risk of these things go up dramatically.”

Garrison revealed that learning more about why ovaries are aging prematurely can be the solution to creating a healthier and longer lifespan. As of now, there is limited research and lack of funds in this space, especially for women; however, that’s changed in the last couple of years. “It was also just the fact that the male body has been biology’s baseline for the last century,” she explained. “Most preclinical studies have been conducted in male animals. And it was only in 2016, which is just over five years ago that that the NIH mandated that grantees had to include females, both sexes in their studies.”

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