A woman’s reproductive stage lasts from the time of her first menstrual period (menarche) to her very last menstrual period (menopause). However, the body’s insulin production plays an integral part in this process. Without sufficient insulin, the reproductive timeframe may be cut short.
A recent study compared the reproductive lifespan of women with and without type 1 diabetes (T1D). The results showed that women who were diagnosed with T1D prior to menarche were more likely to have a shorter reproductive period. They may have delayed onset of menses and experience menopause sooner than women without T1D due to insulin deficiency and incidences of hyperglycemia.
A shorter reproductive window may impact numerous aspects of health, including putting women at higher risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and mortality. Recognizing risk factors and signs that a woman may experience early menopause may help medical professionals to be more proactive in addressing potential concerns and improving reproductive health.
More research is necessary to better understand the relationship between insulin deficiency and the reproductive lifespan to identify effective prevention strategies and treatment options to support women’s health and quality of life.
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