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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
  • Radiation
  • Chemotherapy
  • Medications that reduce estrogen levels
  • Smoking
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Medical treatments (pelvic surgery, chemotherapy, or pelvic radiation therapy)

References:

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq047.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130514T1031516698 . Accessed November 2009.

North American Menopause Society website. Available at: http://www.menopause.org . Accessed February 15, 2006.



Last reviewed September 2012 by Andrea Chisholm

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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