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Menopause Age

Menopause Age
The average menopause age varies from woman to woman and is dependent on many factors. Read on to know menopause age and what are the factors that influence it...The word 'menopause' is a Greek word that literally means 'end of monthly cycle'. This is the stage where the woman officially is not fertile, as there is no more production and release of egg from the ovaries. This is a condition where, due to hormonal changes in the body of a female, there is cessation of release of ova from the ovaries. Thus, the uterus does not anticipate nor prepare for a possible pregnancy, so there is no monthly shedding of the excess uterine lining. The average menopause age varies woman to woman and there are many factors that dictate the age of onset of menopause. Given below are details regarding when menopause sets in.

Age of Onset of Menopause

The menopause age or the exact date of onset of menopause in women is medically defined as 'The time of the last menstrual period (or menstrual flow of any amount, however small), in those women who have not had a hysterectomy.' There are many things that take place as a buildup to menopause. This stage is known as perimenopause or premenopause. This is the stage where the various menopause symptoms start showing. Menopause symptoms start setting in at around forty-five years of age. However, average menopause age is said to be around fifty-one years for women. Although menopause age range is between forty and sixty. There are many different menopause symptoms that can help you identify this condition, like cessation of periods, weight gain, low energy levels, breast tenderness, decreased sex drive, etc. Nevertheless, merely the cessation of menstruation cannot be labeled as menopause. Besides this, there need to be many hormonal changes accompanying this specific symptom of menopause. This is because due to hormonal changes in the body, the woman also needs to stop releasing ova from the ovaries.

There are many factors that influence the onset of menopause. Firstly, women that had an early onset of menstruation may end up having a premature menopause age. Also, women that smoke cigarettes usually end up reaching menopause earlier than other non-smoking women.

Abnormal Menopause Age

There are conditions where a woman's ovaries may stop functioning at a relatively early age, that is, before she reaches forty years of age. This is known as premature ovarian failure. It may be a case of spontaneous ovarian failure before time, which is rare and only seen in 1% of women or it may be due to some pre-existing factors. Conditions that can lead to a change in the average menopause age include autoimmune diseases that target endocrine glands, thyroid diseases, diabetes, conditions where the immune system of a person may be compromised, patients undergoing treatment for cancer (chemotherapy, radiotherapy), etc. However, these are all only possible causes of early onset of menopause and are not definitive in nature. More often than not, there is no need for treatment for this condition, unless it is leading to severe side effects, in which case, hormone replacement therapy may need to be initiated.

There is also something known as surgical menopause. This is seen in females that get a surgical hysterectomy or whose ovaries and uterus is surgically removed. Thus, it leads to instant onset of menopause. However, this is only in cases of hysterectomies of women that are already old or who are near the average age of menopause.

However, the figures given above are mere indicators of menopause and as mentioned earlier, the average menopause age in women varies from one woman to another. Hence, women should not rely on these figures if they are planning to stop using birth control methods due to the decreased risk of pregnancy at this stage. Instead it is advisable to continue using protection or other birth control methods for at least eight to twelve months after the last period so as to err on the side of caution.