BACKGROUND: Seasons may influence prenatal growth and future fertility. This study investigated whether season and month of birth influenced the timing of menopause in a group of women attending three Italian menopause clinics. METHODS and RESULTS: Age at menopause of 2822 post-menopausal women (>12 months of amenorrhoea) was stratified by month and season of birth. Mean age at menopause was 49.42 years (SEM: 0.78 years). Menopause occurred earlier for women born in the spring (age 49.04 6 0.15 years) than in the autumn (49.97 6 0.14 years). The earliest menopause was found in women born in March (48.9 6 0.25 years) and the latest in women born in October (50.3 6 0.25 years). The effect of season of birth on age at menopause remained even when considering factors that in our analysis were capable of significantly interfering with the timing of menopause, such as age at menarche, body mass index, smoking habit, level of education and type of job. CONCLUSIONS: Taking into consideration the retrospective design of the study, and a possible recall bias, the present data seem to suggest that environmental factors linked to seasons are capable of interfering with the timing of a woman’s ovarian exhaustion by an action exerted in the prenatal period.
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