Traditionally, the average age of menopause was 60. Women would enter perimenopause in their 50s and menopause (defined as having had 12 consecutive months without menstruation) at around age 60, give or take a couple of years. In recent decades, however, the average age of menopause has been getting younger and younger.
Now it’s quite normal for girls to enter perimenopause in their 40s and melancholy in their 50s. While this did cause alarm initially, what’s become more alarming is that girls as early as 35 can enter perimenopause, which based on this tendency can have girls menopausing earlier. Also, it appears that the younger perimenopause hits, the longer it lasts, which is terrible for women.
Doctors have been discovering these tendencies, and have been wondering why the average age of menopause appears to become younger throughout the generations. Why is the average age of menopause changing? At the moment, physicians assume it has to do with the increasingly stressful lifestyle girls lead, in addition to the sudden influx of unhealthy foods accessible to girls.
Unhealthy habits like alcohol and excessive ingestion may also be activating women’s bodies to think that they are “older” than they really are. This is worrisome because the change in ages poses particular health consequences for women, and these consequences can be serious. First, earlier onset of perimenopause means earlier hormonal imbalances within a female’s body. This may complicate a woman’s reproductive system, and may be one reason why a growing number of girls are getting hysterectomies.
Additionally, it increases the odds of getting unexpected pregnancies or pregnancies where the children have higher odds of having pre-natal issues. Second, the imbalance caused by perimenopause hormones can be quite disrupting in a female’s life, especially when they are still in their 30s, and are expected to be very busy in the office and in the house. Some women connect the strain of their own lives and the symptoms of perimenopause to the growing numbers of women that are diagnosed with emotional problems like depression or bi-polar disease.
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While it’s extremely possible that moving through some of the hormonal fluctuations of perimenopause and having it be disrupting can exacerbate emotional symptoms, there are no clear connections between the two, although the correlation is something worth taking note of. The issues mentioned above are only two of the more severe health conditions that can occur from the normal age of menopause getting younger. If the present lifestyle trend is what’s causing this alarming change in the average age of menopause, then girls are asked to lead healthier lives beginning in their younger years in order to lengthen their reproductive lifetime, and to shorten the amount of perimenopause.
There are other health conditions that could pose complications, and girls who perimenopause early should take some opportunity to read about what they’re up against so that they could better prepare themselves for the challenges ahead.