Are cosmetics in chemicals causing early menopause?
Menopause is a stage in my life that I have yet to experience, but with many of my friends and family going through it I feel I've learnt a lot about it.
This includes the shocking news this week from researchers at Washington University who have warned that chemicals found in makeup, hairspray and food packaging are causing women to hit menopause early.
Women exposed to high doses have been found to go through the change nearly two and a half years before others and, in extreme cases, could cause women to stop having periods 15 years early.
The chemicals in question are phthalates, which are found in plastics, cosmetics, household products and food packaging. They have been linked to all sorts of issues, such as disrupting women's reproductive systems, including their ovaries and leading to early menopause.
While the statistics are a little scary, scientists admit that they don't yet know the long-term effects, which could be a lot more pronounced.
An early menopause is linked to a higher rate of stroke, heart disease and bone problems, as well as impacting on reproduction systems, meaning that while sometimes it's perfectly normal there are risks.
Research is in its early stages so I'm not at the point of rushing out to check the ingredients in all my cosmetics, but it has definitely alerted me to the importance of using natural products where I can.
Rather than getting overly worried though, I think I'll have to chat to my GP about it and see whether I've got much to worry about or not.
You can't put off having your menopause, it's a natural life stage, but you might be able to prevent it happening prematurely and waiting till your body is ready.
How are concerned are you about an early menopause?
Posted by Mandy Jones