Menopause happens at different ages, but the average is 51.5. However, some people can go through it as early as 30, or as late as 60. It’s most dependent on when your mother went through menopause.
It’s actually one of the most common myths of menopause that it happens at 50. It’s certainly not the case, so keep on reading to find out all the details about this.
Factors for the Age of Menopause
When menstruation ceases depends on a number of factors. Here are a few of the main ones.
Age of Mother’s Menopause
Of all the factors listed, this is by far the most important. You will likely fall within a few years of when your mother went through menopoause.
There is a strong genetic link to when you’ll start your period, perimenopausal symptoms, and when your periods will stop.
Sometimes people may go through earlier menopause due to a one time, or inherited issue related to genetics.
This lifestyle factor is by far the more damaging to your ovaries than anything else. So, if you smoke but your mother didn’t, you’ll probably reach menopause sooner than she did, and vice-versa.
Most forms of chemotherapy are damaging to the ovaries. So if had this kind of treatment, you can expect to undergo menopause a couple of years earlier than you might normally.
Surgery on the Ovaries
With ovarian surgery, healthy tissue is also damaged. This can lead to an earlier menopause.
One of the factors that impacts the menopause age range is your ethnicity.
Slightly earlier menopause: Hispanic, and Africa-American women
Slightly later menopause: Chinese, and Japanese
In the middle: Caucasian (51.5 years)
There is more research being done into additional things that may bring on early menopause. It’s thought that there might be a connection between pollutants and menopause age.
Learn More about Menopause Age Range
Things that you Think Might Influence Menopause, but Don’t
Here are three things that people think influence the age of menopause, but they actually don’t.
Age of First Period
The average age of the first period in the USA has been getting earlier over the years. However, the average age of menopause has remained steady at 51.5 for decades.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Neither of these things have any impact on the age of menopause.
Use of Hormonal Birth Control
Even if you use birth control that stops ovulation, the age at which you go through menopause shouldn’t be impacted.
Can I Delay Menopause?
If you’re trying to get pregnant at a later age, you may want to know if you can delay when your periods stop. The bad news is that this isn’t possible.
What is possible is to go through menopause a bit earlier than you naturally would because of the factors we’ve already mentioned (chemotherapy, smoking, etc.).
If someone experiences early menopause in their late 30’s or 40’s, it could be related to a lifestyle choice, or their mother could have also experienced earlier than average menopause.
How Long Does Menopause Last?
Perimenopause is the period of time before menstruating ceases. It lasts from 4-10 years, so most people will go through it in their 40’s.
As you get closer to menopause, your periods will get further apart, and eventually they will stop. Once you haven’t had a period for 12 months, you’re officially in menopause.
What Happens in Menopause?
There are also some common symptoms that most people experience. Some of these include:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Bloating and weight gain
- Decreased sex drive
- Irregular periods
- Headaches caused by fluctuating hormones
Learn more here: Perimenopause Signs
What Age Does Perimenopause Happen?
How about Early Menopause?
Although the average age of menopause in North America is around 50, there are a small number of people who go through it much earlier in their 30’s, or even 20’s.
There are a number of causes for it, and also some treatment options available. You can learn more about it here:
What about Male Menopause?
Okay, so is this really a thing? We’ve all heard talk about the male menopause (aka Andropause), but is it really true?
Find out here: Everything you Need to Know about Male Menopause.
Menopause Age Range: Have your Say!
What are your thoughts about the menopause age range? Leave a comment below and let us know.
Reference: Web MD
Tammy Ford is the resident expert for all things Women’s Health (vaginal discharge and infections, perimenopause, menstrual cycles and more) and is also a chief tester of all things eco-friendly period products. She has a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and specializes in reproductive health.
You can contact her via email: [email protected]