Only three known mammals experience the menopause - orcas, short-finned pilot whales, and us humans. Even our closest genetic relatives, chimpanzees, don't go through the menopause- their fertility peters out with age, and in the wild, they hardly ever live beyond childbearing years. But thanks to what appears to have been a freak mutation, purely by chance, female humans also managed to evolve to be menopausal, just like female orcas. And thus, they became capable of living long, active post-reproductive lives, instead of simply dying soon after they became incapable of reproducing as all other apes do.
So, here's a hypothetical scenario- what if the freak mutation which was responsible for the menopause, and which extended the span of female humans' lives beyond their childbearing years in the same manner as Orcas, had never happened? And as such, what if human females simply died shortly after they became infertile, in the same way which their evolutionary ancestors did, and the same manner that our evolutionary cousins still do, instead of continuing to live on long after their reproductive value has been nullified? How different would our world, society and human civilization be, if humans had never evolved to be menopausal, and if the average woman's maximum life expectancy was capped at around 55 years as a result?
Most Helpful Girl
We'd probably have died out. In pre modern times, women had a high chance of dying in childbirth and also children had a high mortality rate. So if a woman lived long enough to stop having children, but could still help raise them and gather food (women provided the most calories, but men provided more protein in early human existence), the whole group benefitted.1
Most Helpful Guy
then our population might be smaller although widowed men may just find younger women to partner up with
less burden on social services (medicare, social security, etc)
fewer people would a grandmother
but a bigger question to ask is would women simply die? menopause is only the deterioration of the ovaries so they are no longer capable of producing off spring and thus menstruation ends. it isn't a disease or illness so there is nothing to suggest that a woman who didn't go through menopause would for any reason become ill.
also from what i know menopause does occur in chimps and a few monkey species, elephants, and several marine animals