Pregnancy Has An Unexpected Effect On A Woman’s Cellular Age

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A brand-new research study has actually discovered that numerous pregnancies can make a lady age faster. This isn’ t simply a case of stress-inducing kids offering their moms more gray hairs, the aging was kept in mind on a cellular level.

As reported today in the journal Scientific Reports , cellular aging was sped up by 6 months to 2 years for each extra pregnancy, despite other aspects such as socioeconomic status and diet plan.

Strangely enough, ladies who were presently pregnant appeared to have cells that really looked below their biological age would recommend.

“ Paradoxically, although a lady’ s biological age was greater with each kid that she had, if a female was pregnant when the measurements were taken, her epigenetic age, and to a lower degree her telomeres, looked ‘ more youthful ’ than forecasted for her sequential age, ” Christopher Kuzawa , senior author of the research study and a teacher of sociology at Northwestern University, described in a declaration .

“ It ’ s a fascinating circumstance where pregnancy makes somebody look momentarily ‘ young, ’ however there seems some long lasting, cumulative relationship in between the variety of pregnancies and more sped up biological age.”


Human chromosomes (gray) topped by telomeres (white). United States Department of Energy Human Genome Program

The scientists had a look at over 800 girls, aged in between 20 and 22 years of ages, with various reproductive histories in the Philippines. Within this accomplice, they wished to see how 2 different markers for cellular aging — telomere length and epigenetic age — altered as they went through pregnancies.

“ Telomere length and epigenetic age are cellular markers that individually forecast death, and both appeared ‘ older ’ in females who had more pregnancies in their reproductive histories, ” included lead author Calen Ryan.

“ Even after representing other aspects that impact cellular aging, the variety of pregnancies still triumphed.”


Telomeres are areas at each end of a chromosome (image above). They are a bit like caps that secure the internal areas of chromosomes, avoiding crucial genes from being erased each time DNA duplication occurs. Considering that they continuously get much shorter and much shorter throughout life, they can be utilized as an excellent indication of cellular aging. Epigenetic age is another estimate of age based upon levels of DNA methylation, something that likewise increases as life goes by.

To dig much deeper into this discovery, the scientists have actually begun dealing with a follow-up research study of the exact same group 13 years after their measurements were taken. They wish to find whether these modifications can still be seen years later on and, most notably, whether the modifications can in fact impact the individual’ s wellness.


It ’ s typically been stated that having more kids, particularly more than 4 or 5, can increase a individual’s threats of specific illness . This, maybe, might be a hint regarding why.

“ It ’ s unclear whether these relationships will continue into later life as these females age. We likewise do unknown whether these modifications will in fact cause less beneficial long-lasting health results,” Kuzawa stated.

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