5 Causes Of Early Menopause

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early menopause

Menopause is bound to happen. The question is when? Women feel the onset of menopause around the ages of 40 to 58 (the average age being 51) according to the North American Menopause Society. However, recent studies have illustrated some key lifestyle choices that could lead to an earlier onset of menopause. This early onset has larger implications than a decreased duration of your menstrual cycle.

Research has shown that women who undergo menopause earlier are at a higher risk for depression, dementia, osteoporosis, heart disease and stroke. Here are five risk factors for early onset menopause.

Read also: Menopause Symptoms and How It Affects The Body

1. Smoking

Tobacco usage has a great impact on developing early menopause. Smoking is very bad for the development of estrogen, and the average use of tobacco has been proven by studies to speed up your menopause onset by 1 to 2 years.

Heavy smokers have an even earlier date with menopause as it activates several different DNA repair mechanisms thought to be associated with colon cancer.

2. Stress

A study entitled, Onset of Natural Menopause in African American Women listed a number of factors that contributed to early onset menopause. Stress was one of the factors mentioned.

The body is very responsive to the psychological stress we go through and scientists believe that stress releases a variety of hormones into your body that tell your ovulation cycle to stop.

Women from harsh economic conditions face an 80% chance of developing early menopause according to a Boston University School of Public Health study.

3. Weight

High body mass index (BMI) increases your chance of developing early menopause. According to the International Journal of Obesity, as BMI increases so does the onset of menopause.

Thyroid disorders affect the metabolic rates in our body and contribute to the late onset of menopause. More body fat equals more estrogen production.

As menopause sets in, the amount of estrogen produced gets lower and lower. Women who are obese are able to compensate for this their higher BMI count. Although you won’t experience all of the hot flashes, weight gains and memory problems until later on in life, you’ll have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis and heart disease.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: What Are The Best Foods To Eat During Menopause?

4. Endometrial Cancer

Endometrial cancer is on the rise in Black women according to a news report. If you’ve had a hysterectomy before or have a weakened immune system your chances of developing endometriosis are higher.

Black women are less likely to survive low-grade tumors by 6% and 59% less likely to survive higher malignancies of endometriosis.

Surgery is often required to remove the ovaries from the body, which instantly induces menopause. Specialists recommend that you talk to your doctor about saving a little piece of your ovaries to delay the onset of menopause just a tad.

5. Chemotherapy

According to the Black Women’s Health Imperative, Black women are less likely to get breast cancer but are more likely to die from breast cancer.

Chemotherapy destroys these fast-multiplying cancerous cells but also damages the ovaries in the process. The body’s reaction to chemotherapy is different from woman to woman. Some women’s period stops altogether and for some, it stops temporarily. The older you are the more likely that your period will stop permanently.

When to see a doctor

If you begin to have symptoms of menopause before the age of 40, you should contact your healthcare provider. He or she will do several tests and ask questions to help diagnose premature or early menopause. These tests can include:

  • Asking about the regularity of your menstrual periods.
  • Discussing your family history of menopause at an early age.
  • Testing your hormone levels (estrogen and gonadotrophin).
  • Looking for other medical conditions that may be contributing to your symptoms.

If you haven’t had a menstrual period for 12 straight months, and are not on any medication that could stop menstruation, you may have gone through menopause.

Read Next: 11 Natural Ways To Deal With Menopause Symptoms


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