Early menopause is when the last period happens between the ages of 40 and 45. Most women reach menopaused between 45 and 55.
Some of the causes of early menopause include:
- the ovaries stop working normally (called primary ovarian insufficiency)
- chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment
- autoimmune diseases, such as thyroid disease, Crohn’s disease and type 1 diabetes
- genetics conditions, such as Turner syndrome or Fragile X syndrome
- infections such as mumps
- rare metabolic disorders such as galactosaemia and aromatase deficiency.
- removal of the ovaries (oophorectomy) which results in immediate menopause
Often the cause of early menopause is unknown.
Symptoms of early menopause are similar to those of women who have menopause aged in their 50s, except they may be more severe.
There are ways to ease the symptoms of early menopause - talk to your doctor.
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Last reviewed: June 2020