Menopause starts when a woman’s ovaries stop producing hormones. The main hormones that ovaries produce are estrogen and progesterone. Technically, in theory, menopause is when a woman has missed her period for one full year or has undergone an oophorectomy/hysterectomy (removal of ovaries and uterus).
Menopause is a natural transition that every woman will eventually go through. Menopause is a natural form of aging. But menopause can have certain unwanted symptoms that go along with it. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, working naturally to resolve unwanted symptoms of menopause can be crucial for a woman’s quality of life. There will be more information on this process in other blogs/content.
What age menopause starts depends on the following factors:
- Genetic background: Such as when her mother and her mother before her went through menopause.
- Age/time: The average age of menopause is 51 ½ years old. But there are many factors that determine the age a woman will be when she enters menopause.
- Lifestyle: Stress can cause menopause to start earlier than expected. Other lifestyle factors such as diet, sleep, weight, smoking (please stop smoking) can affect the onset of menopause.
- Medical history: Certain medical diagnosis such as autoimmune disease, thyroid disorders can affect early onset of menopause
- Medications can cause early onset of menopause. Medications such as steroids and cancer treatments can affect the start of menopause. Even taking oral contraceptive pills into the 40’s, has shown to put women into early menopause.
- Surgical menopause: If a woman has a surgical procedure called a oophorectomy, where the ovaries are removed, this will immediately cause menopause. Typically, when a woman undergoes a oophorectomy, she will also have a hysterectomy which is removal of the uterus. Having a oophorectomy/hysterectomy can happen at any age. It is usually done for uterine or ovarian cancer, fibroids, endometriosis, abnormal uterine bleeding.
Menopause is a natural form of aging. While the average age of menopause is 51 ½ years old, there are many factors that can affect the onset of menopause. Those influencing factors are genetics, lifestyle, medications, medical history, family history or if a woman has her ovaries and uterus removed for medical conditions (oophorectomy with hysterectomy).