Wednesday Bubble: the crystal menopause ball

Posted by on May 19, 2010 in Early menopause, heart disease, menopause, women's health | 2 comments

Can you predict the age you will start menopause?

Most women and many experts say that there is a link between when their mothers started menopause and when they will likely start menopause. In fact, the ‘mother’ hypothesis has been explored in numerous studies, with explanations ranging from hormones to genetics to evolutionary selection. However, are there any other determinants or factors that also may come into play? Indeed, it appears that there are. And why is it important? Studies have shown both early (<age 45)  and late (>age 56) menopause to be associated with increased health risks, such as heart disease.

Recent data from a study of over 1,000 women, almost of half of which were postmenopausal, show that weight gain and weight loss in the perimenopausal years may play an important role in determining the age that you start menopause.

After evaluating body mass index and height, and the women’s history of weight loss and gain in body mass index from age 25 to menopause, the researchers found that women with a history of losing 11 pounds or more between age 25 (excluding weight gain or losses due to pregnancy) and menopause or gaining roughly 1 pound or more per year during the same time period were more likely to start menopause later than the average age of 50 or 51. The greater the loss or gain, the later menopause began.  Other factors that also appeared to influence a later menopause included the number of bleeding days between ages 20 and 30 (with “more” associated with “later”), use of an IUD, a later year of birth and how a woman perceived her economic status. On the other hand, women who smoked or had type 2 diabetes before transitioning to menopause and who had a mother who started menopause earlier than age 50, were more likely to start menopause earl

Wondering why this is important?

Clearly, the more information we have about when menopause might start, the greater our ability to start instituting effective strategies, such as exercise, relaxation, diet, etc, to stave off the numerous health issues that arise as our hormones decline. Some of these strategies might also serve a dual purpose of  ameliorating vasomotor symptoms like flashes and night sweats.

Is the crystal ball accurate? Only time will tell. But knowledge is power. Always.


  1. 5-19-2010

    I can’t deny this information is fascinating but there are so many variables involved (combinations of the above), I think it is still too early to draw conclusions from these facts.

    • 5-19-2010

      I agree with you on some level Emma. But this is one of the most interesting and thorough studies I’ve seen in some time. I think it’s the precipice of truly figuring out some additional key variables. Thanks for your comment.

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