As If Things Weren’t Bad Enough

Early onsets of menopause promoted with perflouorocarbons

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Menopause is a difficult transistion for many women, but new research indicates that exposure to man-made chemicals may hurry up the process. 

A recent study found that higher levels of perfluorocarbons (PFCs) in a woman’s body increases the odds that she is already in and possibly through menopause in women between 42 and 64 years old.

"Avoid excessive PFC exposure to minimize risk of early menopause."

These women also had significantly lower concentrations of estrogen than women with low levels of PFCs. PFCs are broadly used man-made chemicals found in household products such as food containers, clothing, carpets, paints and more.

Sarah Knox, PhD, of the West Virginia University School of Medicine in Morgantown and her team studied 25,957 women age 18 to 65, to ascertain their menopausal status.

Then they measured their serum concentration levels of PFCs and estradiol, an estrogen critical to sexual and reproductive functioning. In women over age 42, the study found an association between PFC exposure and decreased estradiol.

The same association was found in the women under age 42, but it was deemed significantly insignificant. Knox concludes there is definitely an association between early onset menopause and PFC exposure.

This finding may be explained because post menopausal women are no longer losing blood through their menstrual cycle.

This would imply, however, that increased PFC exposure is a natural consequence of menopause. It is known that PFCs increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and can disrupt the immune system.

To better understand the exact relationship, further studies are required.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
April 3, 2011
Last Updated:
April 5, 2011