Johannes D. Veldhuis, MD


March 15, 2000

In This Article

Individual Variations in Reproductive Aging in Women

Even in identical (monozygotic) twin pairs, there can be a 12- to 14-year discordance in the age of menopause, albeit 50% of twin pairs are concordant within 2 years. Thus, reproductive aging--even with identical genetic anlagen--shows stochastic and/or environmental variability. For the female gonadal axis, this stochastic element could originate from the nonuniformity among individuals in rates of prenatal oocyte and follicle survival. This view highlights the importance of the ovarian oocyte reserve. Clinically, premature menopause holds significant implications for the development of cardiovascular disease and osteopenia.[24]