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Risk Factors for Premature Menopause

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Risk Factors for Premature Menopause

Menopause is a natural process that usually starts around 50 years of age. 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:

  • Having other family members 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 101: A primer for the perimenopausal. North American Menopause Society website. Available at: http://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/menopause-symptoms-and-treatments/menopause-101-a-primer-for-the-perimenopausal.
  • Menopause. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/menopause.
  • Menopause. Planned Parenthood website. Available at: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/health-and-wellness/menopause.
  • Menopause basics. Office on Women's Health website. Available at: https://www.womenshealth.gov/menopause/menopause-basics.


  • Elizabeth Margaret Prusak, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.