by EBSCO Medical Review Board

Menopause is a natural process that usually starts around the age of 50. It is called premature menopause when it starts before the age of 40.

A risk factor is something that raises a person's chances of getting a disease or health problem. A woman could get premature menopause without the risks below. The more risks a woman has, the greater the chances are. Risk factors for premature menopause are:

  • Other women in the family who have had it
  • Surgery to remove the ovaries
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Taking medicines that lower estrogen levels
  • Smoking
  • Problems with the immune system


American College of Obstetricians and Gynacologists (ACOG). Practice Bulletin No. 141: management of menopausal symptoms. Obstet Gynecol. 2014 Jan;123(1):202-16, reaffirmed 2016, correction can be found in Obstet Gynecol 2016 Jan;127(1):166.

Menopause. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: . Updated December 5, 2019. Accessed July 22, 2020.

Menopause. Planned Parenthood website. Available at: Accessed July 22, 2020.

Menopause 101: A primer for the perimenopausal. North American Menopause Society website. Available at: Accessed July 22, 2020.

Menopause basics. Office on Women's Health website. Available at: Updated March 18, 2019. Accessed July 23, 2020.

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