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Is Your Uterus in the 'Golden Ratio?'

a blog by Claire, August 15, 2012

OK, this is a little hard to explain for those of us who took the least amount of math as possible during college and can't remember a thing about high school …

But evidently there is something called the "Golden Ratio" in math. And if you have a uterus that perfectly proportional, that is in proportions matching the Golden Ratio, you are at your most fertile, according to a doctor in Belgium who decided to study this.


OK, let's back up.

There is a sequence of numbers called the Fibonacci sequence. (Does this sound vaguely familiar?) The sequence of numbers is one in which each number is the sum of the previous two. Example: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 and so on. Evidently, if you take two successive numbers in this sequence, their ratio is very close to 1.618. (Here's where you start to lose me, but I'm going to take smarter people's word for it on the ratio thing.)

Nah, let's try one: 8 and 5. OK, so 8 divided by 5 is 1.6. Wow!

OK, so what's the big deal about this 1.618 ratio? Well, have you seen the DaVinci Code? Tom Hanks as Professor Tom Langdon explains how this ratio — also known as divine proportion or golden mean — is found throughout art and nature. For example, this ratio is what makes a person's face attractive. Langdon says DaVinci used the ratio to paint the Mona Lisa and that is why it is so pleasing to the eye. The ratio manifests itself in other things, too: snowflakes, sunflowers, the distance between first and second knuckle compared to the distance between the second and the third. Oh, and evidently the Greeks loved the ratio for architecture (and they had some fine architecture.)

So Jasper Verguts, M.D., from the University Hospital Leuven in Belgium, set out to find whether women with a uterus of perfect proportions — ratio of length to width that matched the Golden Ratio — would be at their most fertile. He measured the wombs of 5,000 women and set up a table with the average ratio of length to width for different ages.

  • At birth, the ratio of the uterus is around 2.
  • As women age, the ratio decreases to 1.45.
  • Between the ages of 16 and 20 — the age at which women are most fertile on average — is the age at which the ratio of the uterus was 1.6.

Voila, when you're in high school and college, your uterus is divine! (I think we probably already knew that.)

OK, seriously, shouldn't our wombs evolve now and stay in the Golden Ratio until our 30s and 40s? If women are having babies later, our wombs need to catch up!

So, not only do we need to think about the proportion of our faces and bodies as we age, now we have to worry about our internal organs losing their "divine prorportion." I mean, really, I never thought Mona Lisa was all that and a bag of chips anyway.

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