Women facing early menopause tend to have questions about what is happening to their bodies. Even though most people assume that all women reach menopause in their 50s, approximately 4% of women will enter menopause at a younger age. Learn more about the relationship between menopause and the age the transition begins.
Average Age for Early Menopause
Doctors diagnose early menopause when women reach the total absence of menstruation before the age of 45. For many women, if it is due to natural triggers, the menopausal transition begins in their 30's.
If women experience symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, or irregular periods, it is a sign of a hormonal imbalance that might indicate early menopause. If this is the case, women should consult a trusted medical professional in order to determine whether they are experiencing early menopause or if there are other potential health issues to consider.
Average Age for Premature Menopause
While premature menopause and early menopause as terms are sometimes used interchangeably, there is in fact a distinction between the two. While a woman who experiences menopause before the age of 45 is going through early menopause, a woman who experiences menopause before the age of 40 is going through premature menopause. While there is that minor difference, women who are going through early menopause or premature menopause typically have similar symptoms.
Both early and premature menopause depend on an array of factors that could trigger the onset of menopause in young women. To see a complete list of possible triggers of early or premature menopause, please follow the link about causes of early menopause.
- Love, S. (2003). Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press.
- Office on Women's Health. (2010). Early menopause (premature menopause). Retrieved April 5, 2016, from http://womenshealth.gov/menopause/early-premature-menopause/