When Will Menopause Occur: Is Any Age Fixed?

Menopause is the period in a woman’s life when she goes for 12 months straight without having her periods.

It marks the end of her fertility years and transition to infertile years where she is not eligible for pregnancy.

Studies show that this transition makes some women appreciate sex more given there is no fear for getting pregnant.

The period preceding menopause is called peri-menopause and is marked with many symptoms.

Some of the symptoms that come with menopause include the following; hot flashes-alternating bouts of intense heat in the body and a sense of coolness, night sweats-intense sweating during the night that could be as a result of the intense hot flashes, anxiety, stress, osteoporosis, and urinary incontinence among others.

While many have ended up associating menopause with great suffering, lack of sleep and fractures, and whereas the symptoms may be unpleasant, foreknowledge would surely give one the impetus to surmount such challenges when they show up at the appointed time.

In fact in this article, we seek to shed light on when menopause occurs, and is there any set or fixed age of menopause? Kindly read on to find this and much more insights into menopause.

When Does Menopause Occur?

According to research, menopause mostly occurs between ages 45-55. The Average age for menopause occurrence in the USA is 51 years.

The process leading up to this period starts many years back in the peri-menopause duration during which the body undergoes tremendous hormonal change.

The ovaries at this stage continue to cut down on the production of female hormones in the body like the product of estrogen and progesterone.

African-American women have been found to have heavy symptoms while women of Asian origin have mild symptoms. In such respects therefore, the starting age may vary but it is 51 years.

Menopause may or may not showcase physical and/or emotional symptoms.

What is the earliest age for menopause?

stages-of-menopausefixed age of menopause. Some studies have indicated that the median age of women in the U.S. for menopause falls between 50 and 52 and the perimenopause age falls at around 47.5 years However, this age may differ for women of color and separate studies are needed for them.

Perimenopause refers to the time before menopause begins; wherein the hormones start changing to prepare the body for menopause. Some of the symptoms of menopause are cited below:

  • Hot flashes
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Sudden weight fluctuations
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Increased mood swings

Following are some of the factors that may help establish that your menopause is near.

Determinants of When You Will Start Your Menopause

There are many factors which could determine the period around which you should expect to start off your menopause.

Top on the list is the period around which your mother started off her menopause-genetics. While this is not absolute, it carries a greater percentage in determining when you are to expect your menopause.

Scientific studies strongly link menopause to genetic hereditary. It is therefore very likely that you will have your menopause either a little earlier or a little later than your mother.

Of course, there are times when one would have their periods much earlier than what their mother or close relatives had.

This could be because of genetic mutation that would lead to such anomalies in experiencing menopause.

According to Howard Zacur, MD, Ph.D, a director at John Hopkins School of medicine, there is a chance of variation among close family members for their menopause periods.

For instance, your mother could have had her menopause at 40 while her sisters and your grandmother have it at around 50.

In such a case, it could be very unclear whether you will follow your mother’s pattern or follow the one of your grandmother and your mother’s sisters.

He says that in the event that the majority of the women in your family your mother included-have menopause around age 50, then you are most likely to have the same.

Other factors that influence menopause include:

chemotherapy

  • Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy that is used on many young females has some effect on the ovaries.

    And during those periods of chemotherapy, women tend to temporarily go through menopause.

    Women who undergo chemotherapy are likely to have their menopause a little earlier than they otherwise would.

  • Smoking – There is no other damaging lifestyle to your ovaries than smoking. If you smoke and your mother didn’t smoke, then you will most probably reach menopause earlier than when your mother did.

    But if your mother smoked and you did not, then you are most likely to have your menopause later than she did.

  • Having an Ovarian Surgery – Operations conducted on the ovaries often lead to the damaging of healthy tissues on the ovaries.

    According to Marcelle Cedars, the director of the Reproductive Endocrinology Division at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, more diagnostic surgery for cases of endometriosis are likely to lead to early menopause.

    A woman is better off considering other not-so harmful methods to the ovaries.

  • early-menopause

  • Early Menopause in 20s – Typically, early menopause is identified as occurring before the age of 45.

    However, if it happens before the age 40, it is termed as premature menopause. Some women may experience this stage at a much earlier stage, even during their 20s, due to many reasons.

    Sometimes, there can be unexplained reasons as to why ovaries stop working. Surgeries, smoking, chemotherapy, or family history can be certain reasons for early onset of menopause.

    There can be early menopause risks, such as mood disorders and increased susceptibility to heart and neurological disorders. Besides, it may cause emotional distress, especially if the woman is planning for parenthood.

  • Ethnic Background – Research shows that Caucasian women are more likely to reach their menopause much earlier than their Chinese and Japanese counterparts.

    The average age for a Caucasian woman reaching menopause is 51 years. Kindly note that each of us is different so that even with the average age, every woman will have a unique experience with regards to the starting dates for their menopause.

It is possible to manage the symptoms of menopause, by following these tips:

  • Eat nutritional foods, especially those containing calcium & Vitamin D
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Include leafy veggies and fruits in your diet
  • Try to maintain an optimal weight suitable for your body type
  • Avoid over sugary foods or too much caffeine

Conclusion

Although the average age of menopause is 51, there are factors that may affect this age as discussed above. It is important to be thoroughly equipped with such pertinent information for a seamless menopause experience.

To conclude, there is no fixed age of menopause; and it may vary for every woman owing to the myriad of factors mentioned above. It would be a good practice to keep your diet in check and maintain a healthy lifestyle.