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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:

Menopause. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 15, 2013. Accessed April 18, 2013.

Menopause. National Institute on Aging website. Available at: http://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/menopause. Updated February 13, 2014. Accessed February 27, 2014.

Menopause. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq047.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130416T1306377302. Updated February 2013. Accessed February 27, 2014.



Last reviewed March 2014 by Kim Carmichael, MD

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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