The Effects of Environmental Contaminant Exposure on Reproductive Aging and the Menopause Transition

Alison M. Neff, Mary J. Laws, Genoa R. Warner, Jodi A. Flaws

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: Menopause marks the end of a woman’s reproductive lifetime. On average, natural menopause occurs at 51 years of age. However, some women report an earlier age of menopause than the national average. This can be problematic for women who delay starting a family. Moreover, early onset of menopause is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, depression, osteoporosis, and premature death. This review investigates associations between exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and earlier onset of menopause. Recent Findings: Recent data suggest exposure to certain EDCs may accelerate reproductive aging and contribute to earlier onset of menopause. Summary: Human and rodent-based studies identify positive associations between exposure to certain EDCs/environmental contaminants and reproductive aging, earlier onset of menopause, and occurrence of vasomotor symptoms. These findings increase our understanding of the detrimental effects of EDCs on female reproduction and will help lead to the development of strategies for the treatment/prevention of EDC-induced reproductive aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-79
Number of pages27
JournalCurrent environmental health reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Endocrine-disrupting chemicals
  • Menopause
  • Ovary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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