WEBINAR : "Is Female Health Cyclical? Evolutionary Perspectives on Menstruation"


Event details

Date and time 04.12.2020 11:0012:00  
Place and room
Online https://epfl.zoom.us/j/113660323
Speaker Prof. Alexandra Alvergne
Category Conferences - Seminars
Is Female Health Cyclical? Evolutionary Perspectives on Menstruation

Prof. Alexandra Alvergne
Université de Montpellier, CNRS, IRD, Montpellier, France

Why do women menstruate at all ? In this talk, I will draw on an evolutionary medicine approach to argue that to understand female health, both reproductive and non-reproductive, it is critical to ask this question. First, I will introduce current evolutionary hypotheses for explaining why women have periods, and the implications of an evolutionary approach for understanding the tight links between reproductive function and organismal immunity. Second, I will discuss an empirical study testing the idea that negative premenstrual symptoms may be exacerbated by the presence of chronic sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Third, I will present a review assessing the evidence for cyclical immunity and health across the menstrual cycle, discussing potential ecological drivers and evolutionary consequences. I will conclude by calling for a shift towards a cyclical model for female health, which I contend will contribute new questions for biomedicine, public health, and evolutionary ecology.


Practical information

  • General public
  • Free

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