In this post, we seek to explain What Is Childbearing Hip? Childbearing hips are a type of hip deformity that is characterized by sharp, bony edges on the outer parts of the thighs. This condition may occur from a number of causes including hormonal imbalances, obesity, or inactivity.
In the field of anatomy, childbearing hips may refer to women naturally having a slightly wider pelvis than men, so that there is enough space for the baby’s head at birth. As a Swiss study has now shown, the pelvis appears to be particularly wide when the woman reaches her most fertile age. As the scientists from the University of Zurich currently report in the specialist journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”, the width of the female pelvic girdle increases significantly from the beginning of puberty, but then narrows again from around the age of 40. This “reprogramming” is therefore probably directly related to the changes in the female hormone balance.
Broadening begins with the onset of puberty
If a woman is built relatively wide in the middle of the body, this is often colloquially referred to as the “fertile pelvis”. Not without reason, because the female pelvis expands over the course of the childbearing period in order to prepare the body for an imminent birth. A wide pelvis facilitates the exit of the child, while a very narrow pelvic exit can cause complications during birth. Researchers led by Marcia Ponce de León from the University of Zurich are now reporting in the “Proceedings” how exactly these changes in the female anatomy take place. According to this, the widening begins from the beginning of puberty until the female pelvic girdle reaches its maximum width at the most fertile time. In the further course of life, the pelvis then becomes narrower again.
“From the age of about ten years, development in females changes substantially, while male development continues on its earlier course,” the experts write in their article. “Around the age of 40 to 45, female development changes again, in a direction that closely parallels male development,” the scientists continue.
In childhood, there are only slight differences between the sexes
For their project, the scientists examined a total of 275 healthy people using computer tomography (CT) in order to be able to understand the development of the pelvis over time. It was found that there are small differences between the sexes in this area from the outset – but these only became really clear at the beginning of puberty. Because between the ages of 15 and 25 in women, for example, the position of the ischial-pubic bone region would change, causing the pelvic outlet and the distances between the hip sockets to widen. “Taken together, these developmental changes result in a wide birth canal that is favorable for childbirth,” the team continues. These changes would peak between the ages of 25 and 30, although the researchers say it doesn’t matter.
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The interplay of genes and hormones
This special structure of the female pelvis is probably due to a complex interplay of hormones such as estrogen and certain genes and would remain until menopause. “The female organism can obviously widen the pelvis ‘on demand’ and is not simply at the mercy of a genetically determined development program,” Ponce de León said in a statement quoted from the University of Zurich. At the same time, hormones are also strongly influenced by diet and environmental factors. “Birth difficulties are therefore less of an evolutionary problem. Rather, it seems to be a question of the balance between the hormones and external factors that influence the size of the birth canal and the prenatal development of the child.”
But why does the width of the pelvis decrease again after a woman reaches childbearing age? According to the researchers, this is probably related to walking upright. Because a narrower pelvis has a stabilizing effect on the pelvic floor and thus helps to absorb the high pressure that arises in the abdomen when walking. “During a woman’s life, the dilemma is mitigated first in one direction by widening the birth canal during the most fertile period, and then in the other direction by narrowing the dimensions after menopause,” the scientists conclude in their article.