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Risk Factors for Premature Menopause

A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.

Menopause is a natural process, which usually occurs around the age of 50. However, if the normal menstrual cycle is interrupted prior to age 40, it is thought to be abnormal and is referred to as premature menopause.

Risk factors for premature menopause include:

  • Family history of premature menopause
  • Surgical removal of the ovaries—oophorectomy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Medications that reduce estrogen levels
  • Smoking
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Medical treatments (pelvic surgery, chemotherapy, or pelvic radiation therapy)

Revision Information

  • Menopause. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114698/Menopause. Updated July 22, 2016. Accessed October 6, 2016.

  • Menopause. National Institute on Aging website. Available at: http://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/menopause. Updated April 17, 2013. Accessed February 27, 2014.

  • The menopause years. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq047.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130416T1306377302. Accessed February 27, 2014.