When to Expect Menopause?
There is no way to predict when a woman will enter perimenopause, how long it will last, or when she will reach menopause. Most women start to notice some changes in their bodies when they are between the ages of 45 and 55, but some enter perimenopause when they are in their thirties and others are still menstruating well into their fifties.
The timing of menopause is individual to each woman and can depend on several factors, including:
- genetics (e.g., family history of early menopause),
- ethnicity (e.g., may occur earlier in Hispanic women compared to Caucasian women),
- smoking status (e.g., the age at which menopause occurs may be reduced by two years in smokers).
Menopause can occur prematurely through medical means such as radiation and/or chemotherapy and through surgical means such as when ovaries are surgically removed during hysterectomy. In these women there is an abrupt loss of estrogen, and they stop menstruating suddenly.