Menopause age: Overview
Menopause is a permanent cessation of the periods for at least 12 months after the final menstrual bleeding. Period of time during which a woman experiences irregular menstrual bleedings with variable duration and/or different gaps in between the periods is referred to as the climacteric or perimenopause.
This process is a result of the body aging – with every menstrual cycle during a woman’s life the amount of follicles containing oocytes reduces and, respectively, reduces the ovarian ability to produce estrogen.
Normal menopause age
In healthy women, it occurs between the age of 45 and 54 years (on average between 50 and 52 years). This develops due to the loss of activity of the ovarian follicles, that gradually decreases over 10-15 years within an age range from 42 to 58 years. The age of menopause is predetermined genetically, although some circumstances, such as the number of pregnancies and deliveries, lactation, oral contraception use also contribute to menopause age. Early menopause (primary ovarian insufficiency/premature ovarian failure) is a condition when periods disappear in women before the age of 40.
Premature ovarian failure
Menopause which occurs in women before 40 is known as a premature ovarian failure or primary ovarian insufficiency. About 1-2% of females are affected.
Risk factors for early menopause
Early menopause is associated with the following factors:
- Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are related to 1-2 years earlier menopause;
- Some chronic diseases such as arthritis and diabetes mellitus are known to accelerate aging and, therefore, induce early menopause, autoimmune disorders such as diabetes mellitus type 1, autoimmune thyroid diseases, the autoimmune polyglandular syndrome can also cause an early occurrence of this;
- Chemotherapy and radiotherapy applied to the pelvis may lead to early menopause;
- Single marital status and absence of pregnancies may be also related to early menopause;
- Family history of this suggests an increased risk of developing early menopause;
- Some genetic disorders such as Turner syndrome and fragile X syndrome cause primary ovarian failure;
- Thinner women tend to have an this, although not obligatory;
Menopausal transition symptoms
Menopausal transition (also referred to as the climacteric or perimenopause) is a period during which women shift from regular menstruations to periods cessation. It begins when the periods become irregular and lasts up to 4–7 years. Due to hormonal changes and, namely, estrogen deficiency menopausal transition affects woman’s well being and decreases quality of life causing various symptoms.
- Menstrual pattern: longer cycles are also possible; usually shorter menstrual cycles; irregular menstrual bleeding;
- Symptoms related to vascular dysfunction: palpitations; night sweating; hot flushes; sleep disturbances;
- Sexual dysfunction: decreased libido; dryness of the vagina; pain during sexual intercourse (dyspareunia);
- Psychological disturbances: irritability; poor concentration; depression; mood swings; poor memory;
- Somatic symptoms: dizziness; breast pain; headache; joint aches and back pain;
- Other symptoms: urinary incontinence; weight gain; dry and itchy skin;
Our test detects a follicle-stimulating hormone in the urine and according to the result of this test, this can be verified/suspected.