Ask the Experts- August 2020

By: Red Hot Mamas

Published: August 19, 2020

Dear Red Hot Mamas,

Will I start menopause the same time as my mother started it?  What is the normal age of menopause?


Dear Kim,

Your mother’s age at menopause certainly may be a predictor of when you will experience it. It has become clear that genetics play a big role in when menopause occurs. So, you should ask your mother when she went through “the change”. And, it’s a good question to raise to gain more information about your family health history.

Women naturally enter menopause (the point at which they stop menstruating) at an average age of 51, give or take 5 years.

Your mother’s age at menopause is a key factor, but not the only one.

Menopause sometimes may occur before the age of 40. If you experience menopause between ages 40 and 45, you’re said to have early menopause. About 5% of women go through early menopause naturally.

The following can increase the likelihood you’ll experience early menopause:

* A family history of early menopause. If women in your family started menopause earlier, you’re more likely to as well.
* Chemotherapy or pelvic radiation. These cancer treatments can damage your ovaries and cause menopause to start sooner.
* Surgery to remove your ovaries (oophorectomy) or uterus (hysterectomy).
* Certain health conditions – rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, HIV, chronic fatigue syndrome, and some chromosomal disorders can cause menopause to happen sooner than expected.
* Smoking. Smoking can cause menopause to begin up to 2 years earlier.

You should see your doctor regularly. Your doctor can help answer any questions you may have about this new chapter and pivotal change in your life.