Apparently, how many kids you will have might be written in your DNA
There are obviously lots of things that determine when you have children and how large of a family you go on to have.
Factors like your age, career and relationship status will matter, as will socioeconomic position, cultural surroundings and, of course, personal choice and preference.
But did you know that your genetics may also play a part in this? As in; your DNA can actually have a say when it comes to family planning and your timing of having a family?
In a new study, led by scientists at the University of Oxford, researchers found two regions of the human genome that seem to have an influence on reproductive behaviour. Two of those regions were already suspected to be involved in sexual activity, the authors wrote, but 10 had not yet been identified as such.
What they found, was that the same genetic variants linked to having children at a later age were associated with other characteristics reflecting sexual development, such as the age at which girls have their first period, women experience menopause, and boys’ voices change during puberty.
“For the first time, we now know where to find the DNA areas linked to reproductive behaviour,” said lead author Melinda Mills, PhD, professor of sociology at Oxford’s Nuffield College, in a press release. “For example, we found that women with DNA variants for postponing parenthood also have bits of DNA code associated with later onset of menstruation and later menopause.”
In the future, the professor think this could allow physicians and fertility specialists to personalise their advice for potential parents.
“One day it may be possible to use this information so doctors can answer the important question: ‘How late can you wait?’ based on the DNA variants,” Mills explains.
As well as this, experts thinks learning more about genetics factors and their importance for reproduction can also possibly help predict the effectiveness of procedures such as IVF.