The average age that menopause begins is 51.
More Info: Leading up to that generalized threshold, the decrease in female fertility begins at age 30, corresponding to a 50% drop in average monthly pregnancy rates by the time women reach 35 and the statistical equivalent of a 0% birth rate when they turn 41.
Commencement of Menopause Largely Hereditary
Within a particular family, the greatest indicator of when menopause will begin for female members is the history of their own relatives. In cases where there is one or more older sister, studies have found that there is an 85% or better correlation in timing between the onset of menopause among female siblings. In families where a woman is the only child or solitary female sibling, there is a three-quarters chance that she will begin menopause right around the age that her mother did.
When Does Peri-Menopause Start?
The period that precedes menopause, also known as peri-menopause, can range from five to 10 years. During this time, women can experience symptoms such as irregular periods, heavier periods, a reduced sex drive, mood swings, and night sweats. Environmental factors such as smoking constitute only a small factor of variance on the average age of female menopause, accelerating the onset by up to two years.
Did You Know: Hot flashes affect approximately 80% of women during menopause and can in some cases last for years? Estrogen has been found to be the most reliable agent to combat these hot flashes. Of the many alternative therapy treatments that have and will continue to be touted for this side effect of menopause, only soy foods and the herb of black cohash have been scientifically proven to be effective.
Did You Know: In the fall of 2010, an exhibit in Georgia entitled “Menopause: The Art Show” showcased illustrations made by women for a line of menopause-themed greeting cards? Spearheaded by a local female newspaper editor, the effort was designed to allow women to more warmly and officially mark this watershed half-century mark.
Human Reproduction – The Role of Genetic Factors in Age at Natural Menopause, Retrieved October 4, 2010 from http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/16/9/2014.full
ABC News – “Menopause Guide: Dr. Marie Savard Answers Your Questions”, September 29, 2010, Retrieved October 4, 2010 from http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/HealthyLiving/menopause-dr-marie-savard-takes-questions/story?id=11758220
Southgate Herald News – “Menopause-Age Women Tell Tales Through Calendar, Art Show”, September 29, 2010, Retrieved October 4, 2020 from http://www.thenewsherald.com/articles/2010/09/29/business/doc4ca3448d014d6715274188.tx