Is menopause affected by when I started my first period?

Menopause for each woman is not based on when she first started menstruating. It isn't based on how many years of menstruation, but partly on maternal history—meaning, your mother's age at menopause. Talk with your mother and other close female relatives, and ask when they went through menopause. It may be helpful to talk about symptoms and any unusual issues that they may have had. These conversations may give you the most helpful insight on how menopause may affect you. Bear in mind that other factors, such as lifestyle and illnesses like HIV or autoimmune diseases, can also affect the timing of the onset of menopause.

Nope. The timing of natural menopause depends more on your family history, body mass index (BMI) and environmental factors such as smoking. Women with a high BMI go through menopause later and smokers go through it earlier.


Patricia Geraghty, NP
Women's Health

Age of menopause is not related to age of starting periods. There is some correlation to family history, with the age of your mother at menopause being a stronger indicator than the age of your sister. Lifestyle can also influence age of menopause. Cigarette smokers have menopause an average of one year younger than nonsmokers.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.