I think I have found a biological solution to prevent menopause. My Kepler Bb humanoids don't get more frail with old age so aging is not a cause of death for them. They can survive well past 100 years if the conditions are just right. Because of this, I figured "If they don't die of old age, what is the point of menopause?"

This led me to my biological solution that involves adding differences to human anatomy.

In particular, there are 2 pairs of ovaries connected by small tubes. These are the primary and secondary ovaries.

The primary ovaries are closest to the fallopian tubes and are where meiosis takes place. Once meiosis is complete and thus the egg is haploid, ovulation takes place.

The secondary ovaries are closer to the uterus and are where mitosis takes place. Oogonia are like stem cells here. 1 becomes the next oogonium while the other becomes an egg cell. This primary oocyte that results from mitosis migrates into the primary ovaries where a follicle starts forming around the oocyte.

The only way menopause can happen in these females is if the secondary ovaries are surgically removed or become dysfunctional and stop producing eggs. Otherwise, the female will continue ovulating every month until death.

But is my biological solution plausible? I mean yes, lifetime ovulation does mean higher chance of pregnancy mortality and ovarian cancer. But considering that these humanoids don't die of old age, is it a good solution?

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    $\begingroup$ if you don't allow death of old age and increase age when you can be pregnant, you will quickly overrun planets and increase death starvation. But i think it would be still hard, because they need to be immune/highly resistant to "new" diseases. With genetic engineering you can create anything, so why not. However I would create 3 different systems and decide later which would win in long run. $\endgroup$ – Jan Ivan Apr 6 '17 at 5:31
  • $\begingroup$ Looking for a link on a particular species of birds that seem not to age (to answer @JanIvan — they’ve not overrun the planet), I found something more general. See Many Animals Don’t “Age”. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Apr 6 '17 at 8:37
  • $\begingroup$ This is similar to how plants produce gametes. They don't have germ lines like we do. $\endgroup$ – Anonymous Apr 6 '17 at 15:39
  • $\begingroup$ This might be worth asking on the Biology exchange if you remove the references to a fictional race, since this is something very curious when you think about it. Males generate sperm continuously, yet females generate their eggs all at birth; there's probably some biological or evolutionary reason for that, but I don't know what it is. $\endgroup$ – Palarran Apr 7 '17 at 3:12

Why do our own male and female gammets use different mechanisms? This suggests that there is a competitive advantage to producing all the eggs (or singletuse precursors) as soon as possible — even before being born — rather than generating on the fly from stem cells like ecery other type of tissue. You simply postulate that this has not happened. But what's the downside?

I don’t kmow if needing two separate organs is necessary. Nor do you need anything resembling the storage system needed by our mechanism, so you won’t have follicles etc.


Why continue the monthly cycle? Only human females go into heat every 28 days, and conceal the fact. What about a woman who releases one egg a year? Menopause is delayed by a factor of twelve. Plus, you may get some push back from female readers at the thought of enduring a menstrual cycle for a hundred years. Many of them do not enjoy this part of their life and want to be done with it. Menopause is a relief from a lifetime of agony every 28 days. What would be the effect on society if once a year females went into heat, just like every other species on Earth?

  • $\begingroup$ I don't enjoy it when I get period contractions or ovulation pain but it isn't an everyday agony for me. Most of my menstrual cycle is asymptomatic. But I know that it is likely that a new cycle started when I can feel my uterus starting to cramp up. Those contractions I feel on my period are very bad(the cramping itself is bad and then I get 1 contraction every minute or more. The contractions make the pain go up for a few seconds(enough for me to bend over) and then it goes back down to baseline). But I enjoy the fact that I have a menstrual cycle. I just wish it was less painful. $\endgroup$ – Caters Apr 6 '17 at 15:48

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