FRIDAY, Jan. 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Sexual frequency is associated with age of natural menopause (ANM), with a lower likelihood of experiencing menopause for women reporting having sex monthly or weekly, according to a study published online Jan. 15 in Royal Society Open Science.

Megan Arnot, and Ruth Mace, D.Phil., from University College London, used data from 2,936 women drawn from 11 waves of the longitudinal Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation. The correlation between ANM and sexual frequency was examined. In addition, the authors assessed whether exposure to male pheromones delays ANM.

The researchers found that compared with women who had sex less than monthly, those who reported having sex monthly or weekly were less likely to have experienced menopause (hazard ratios, 0.81 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.69 to 0.95] and 0.72 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.62 to 0.83], respectively). Living with a male partner was not associated with ANM in unadjusted models (hazard ratio, 0.95; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.85 to 1.06) or after adjustment (hazard ratio, 1.03; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.91 to 1.16).

“If we interpret these results from a fitness-maximizing framework, it may be the physical cues of sex signal to the body that there is a possibility of becoming pregnant, and therefore an adaptive trade-off may occur between continued energetic investment in ovulation and reproductive cessation,” the authors write.

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