It is very common for women to wonder what their menopause age will be, especially as they get older. It may even be somewhat of a concern if you are considering starting a family later in life.
Why predict menopause age
For some women it may be out of curiosity but for others roughly knowing their menopause age can help them to plan and make life decisions about starting a family. Having an idea of how many more fertile years you may have left can be a major influence on the period of your life in which you chose to start a family. With more and more women hoping to develop a career before becoming a mother, predicting their menopause age can be a helpful tool and indication of how much time they have left to work with. There are a number of factors that can have an effect on a womans menopause so here are some of the things that you do or do not need to take into account.
Whilst there are a number of factors that effect the age at which a woman will begin to go through the menopause, by far the most influential is the age at which your mother experienced it. Medical research has revealed that the menopause is highly liked to genetics and the age tends to be the same with the allowance of a couple of years either side throughout the generations. Naturally, as always when it comes to genetics there are some exceptions to the rule. Occasionally women will hit the menopause at an unusually early age for no apparent reason or due to any obvious cause. Any age below 45 is considered early so if your mother was one of these exceptions it may be that flowing the age of your grandmother or older sisters is more likely. As a general rule though, considering the age of older female relatives is a pretty good way of predicting menopause age.
Smoking can cause substantial damage to the ovaries so the menopause age for smokers is likely to be around 2 years earlier than your mothers, providing she did not smoke. If the situation is the other way around and she smoked while you do not, then it is possible that you will have an extra couple of years. Chemotherapy can effect the cycle and can cause you to go through early menopause. In some women the cycle will return to normal once treatment has finished in which case you can expect the menopause age to occur as normal. Ovarian surgery causes damage to the ovaries and surrounding tissues and can cause the menopause age to be a little younger. Ethnicity can also have an effect as African-American women appear to reach the menopause sooner than Caucasians while Chinese and Japanese tend to be a little older than Caucasians.