Menopause, a natural stage in women's lives, signals the cessation of fertility and causes changes in health status for many women. Chemical exposures may induce early or premature menopause and increase the risks of morbidity and mortality in the postmenopausal period. Chemicals that are toxic to follicles can lower the age of menopause by depleting the ovary of oocytes. Women may be exposed to these chemicals in the workplace, at home, and through exposure to contaminated drinking water near hazardous waste sites, as well as by direct or indirect exposure to cigarette smoke.
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