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Women May Soon "Evolve" Out of Menopause, Scientist Claims

Update Date: May 29, 2013 10:27 AM EDT
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Good news for women: menopause could soon become a thing of the past.

A scientist claims that women could soon evolve out of having the menopause so that they can bear children at a later age.

Aarathi Prasad said that the menopause evolved in a time when generations of women were competing over limited resources because it was not ideal for them all to be having children at the same time. She argued that in modern times, menopause is no longer beneficial because resources are plentiful, life expectancies are longer and people are healthier for longer, according to The Telegraph.

"The mood of scientists working on this and looking to the future is we will either technologically or scientifically evolve out of the menopause," Prasad said at The Telegraph's Hay Festival.

"It is a health risk potentially and it is a real inescapable block on reproduction for one half of us - the women, but not the men. It is something that will probably be overcome," she added.

She said that because there were no longer any "benefits" for women to stop ovulating, the menopause was now "not normal for nature".

"When menopause evolved, women probably died ten years before it happened, it hit in your 50s, on average," she said.

"If you're looking at a future where women are going to live to 100, that's half your life when the rest of your body functions perfectly well and your ovaries don't," she explained, adding that besides reproduction, the menopause can also negatively affect health by increasing the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and breast cancer.

"What we think is normal is not normal for nature. If it is something not in all mammals, is it something necessary or beneficial for us? I do not see any benefits," she explained.

Prasad, a biologist and science writer, said that researchers are now looking for a specific gene that causes early menopause, which could potentially lead to gene therapy for all women. 

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