Study reveals Women’s Bones change after Childbirth

A study has revealed that women’s bones permanently change after giving birth in ways that were previously unknown.

Study reveals Women's Bones change after Childbirth f

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"It continuously adjusts and responds"

A study has found that women’s bones permanently change after childbirth.

In the journal PLOS ONE, it was revealed that Reproductive processes permanently alter women’s bones in previously unrecognised ways.

Paola Cerrito, a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology and Dentistry at New York University, said:

“Our findings provide additional evidence of the profound impact that reproduction has on the female organism, further demonstrating that the skeleton is not a static organ, but a dynamic one that changes with life events.”

The scientists discovered that females who have had children have lower calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus levels.

These changes are related to both nursing and the delivery of a child itself.

However, they warn that while existing medical research has established the importance of calcium and phosphorus for healthy bones, the latest findings do not examine the implications for either humans or living beings in terms of general wellness.

The researchers state that the work instead highlights the complex structure of our bones.

New York University Anthropologist Shauna Bailey, who worked alongside others in the study, commented:

“A bone is not a static and dead portion of the skeleton.

“It continuously adjusts and responds to physiological processes.”

It has long been known that menopause can alter a woman’s bones.

But how earlier life-cycle occurrences like reproduction can affect bone composition is less obvious.

To investigate this, researchers looked at lamellar bones – the majority of bones which make up an adult skeleton.

This area of the human skeleton is a good candidate for examination because it varies over time and leaves biological traces of those changes, helping researchers to track changes over the course of a person’s lifetime.

The study looked at the lamellar bone growth rate in the thigh bones of male and female individuals who passed away naturally while residing at the Sabana Seca Field Station in Puerto Rico.

New York University’s findings indicated that elements such as magnesium, calcium and phosphorus were present in females who had conceived at different concentrations, compared to males, and females who did not give birth.

The amount of calcium and phosphorus in bones generated during fertility and reproduction was specifically reduced in females who gave birth.

Magnesium levels also significantly decreased while the female individuals were nursing their infants.

Paola Cerrito’s research concluded that even before women who had conceived grow to the age of not being fertile anymore, the lasting changes of fertility remain in female bones:

“Our research shows that even before the cessation of fertility the skeleton responds dynamically to changes in reproductive status.”

Ilsa is a digital marketeer and journalist. Her interests include politics, literature, religion and football. Her motto is “Give people their flowers whilst they’re still around to smell them.”



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