Menopause Age Calculator: Can you predict it?-image

Menopause Age Calculator: Can you predict it?

It’s normal to be curious about the age at which you’ll reach menopause. We get it—you want to feel prepared and plan ahead for big life changes.

You may be wondering, does menopause automatically happen once you turn 50? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple– it’s one of many menopause misconceptions.

Despite advances in technology and science, there’s no definitive menopause age calculator or test that can predict the age you’ll reach menopause. 

The Reality of Predicting Menopause

While there’s more research being carried out into predicting the age of menopause, unfortunately, it’s just not possible to predict the exact age you’ll reach menopause with any certainty—there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.

Since multiple factors contribute to the onset of menopause, a menopause age calculator won’t be accurate. There are, however, some factors that can effect when in life you may reach menopause—your genetics, lifestyle choices and medical history. If you’re experiencing symptoms that may be related to menopause or perimenopause, then book an appointment to speak to one of our Menopause Specialists who can provide advice, and guidance as well as HRT prescriptions. 

What is Menopause?

You reach menopause once you have not experienced a period for more than 12 months.  It’s a natural biological process that marks the end of your reproductive years. 

Biologically, your hormones are shifting, and most notably, there’s a massive dip in oestrogen —the hormone that plays a key role in regulating your menstrual cycle and supporting your reproductive health.

This hormonal change can bring on physical and emotional symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood changes, problems sleeping and irregular periods. These changes can start happening years before you even reach menopause – this phase is called perimenopause

(but there are ways you can offset and support your perimenopause symptoms).

During that time, your body is adjusting to the changes going on inside—you gradually stop producing the hormones that control your periods, leading them to eventually stop altogether.

Once your hormones rebalance post-menopause, many report feeling like they’ve got a new lease of life. This is why menopause is often nicknamed “the second spring”—a chance for new beginnings (which is often welcome after a time of massive change in the perimenopause).

The Myth of Menopause Prediction

Just like each one of us is unique, the age we reach menopause is too. 

Limited research in this area means that not even the experts can determine the age you’ll reach menopause. It’s easier to want to turn to a definitive answer, but more often than not, this oversimplified prediction isn’t backed up with scientific evidence. There are too many individual variations for them to be reliable.

Menopause age calculators also don’t take into consideration any external factors that are difficult to measure, for example, exposure to pollutants and other environmental factors, or exposure to stress. Ultimately, any factors that can impact your hormones can impact the onset of menopause.

Average Age for Menopause

The average age for the onset of menopause in the UK is 51, with most people reaching menopause between the ages of 45-55. A small percentage experience early menopause or premature menopause (premature ovarian insufficiency) before the age of 40.

Factors That Influence Menopause Timing

There are three key areas that may indicate when you start menopause: your genetics, your medical history, and your lifestyle.

Genetic Influences

Research suggests that you can roughly predict the age you’ll reach menopause according to when your mother or sister reached theirs. Studies suggest there may be a familial pattern and even certain genetic markers that indicate the age of menopause onset.

However, while genetics play a crucial role, other factors, such as your medical history and lifestyle factors come into play too. For example, you may have a different upbringing from your mother and sister in terms of where you live, whether you have any underlying health conditions and what you’ve consumed in your diet and lifestyle over the years.

Lifestyle and Medical History 

Lifestyle choices, such as whether you are overweight or underweight (or have a low or high BMI) from nutrition and exercise patterns, or whether you smoke or drink alcohol impact the age you reach menopause.

This is because poor lifestyle choices can negatively affect your reproductive and overall health. They can impact your ovarian reserve and hormones and bring on menopause sooner.

Biological factors such as low ovarian reserve—which can be detected with an Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) test, low follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels, or whether you’ve had surgery like a hysterectomy with removal of both ovaries (oophorectomy), whether you’ve been diagnosed with cancer or had cancer treatments may cause you to reach menopause earlier than normal.

The wide variation of genetics, lifestyle and medical history amongst individuals makes it difficult to predict the age you’ll reach menopause.

Understanding Your Body’s Signals

Becoming attuned to your body’s signals can help you predict when you’re approaching menopause. A key factor, often coined “the fifth vital sign”, is your menstrual cycle. Your menstrual cycle is considered regular if your cycle lasts roughly the same amount of days, e.g. between 21 and 35 days each cycle. 

Irregular periods are one of the first signs of perimenopause you might notice, along with things  like hot flashes, trouble sleeping, lowered sex drive and vaginal dryness.

To find out what’s going on inside, you could take a Hertility Hormone and Fertility Test. This will give you a report indicating your hormone levels, and you can speak with a Menopause Specialist to make sense of your results and discuss your next steps.

If you have questions about the age of your menopause, it’s best to speak with a healthcare professional for the most reliable information. They can advise you on your individual menopause experience with as much support as possible instead of focusing on predicting the age you’ll get there.

Preparing for Menopause

Maintaining health and well-being is crucial for navigating menopause with ease. Adopt a healthy lifestyle with balanced nutrition and regular exercise to improve your mood, maintain a healthy weight and support your vitality.

Limit alcohol and smoking, manage stress and make sure you’re getting enough sleep to balance your hormones, energy and mood. It’s also important to build a healthy support system around you. Maintain social connections with friends, family and work colleagues to support your well-being.

Every woman and person assigned female-at-birth experiences menopause differently. Leading a healthy lifestyle can make it easier.

Consultation with Healthcare Professionals

Menopause is unique for every person, and while there isn’t an accurate menopause age calculator or test to predict the exact age you’ll reach menopause, genetic influences, lifestyle factors, and medical history can impact it.

Understanding your body’s unique signals, noticing changes, and seeking professional healthcare insights and hormone tests will ensure that you’re supporting your reproductive and overall health. Making healthy lifestyle choices will offer the best foundation for better health and well-being at every life stage.

FAQs

Can you accurately predict the age of menopause?

While genetic influences, lifestyle choices and medical history can impact the age you’ll reach menopause, there’s no accurate menopause age calculator, tool or test that can offer you an exact age with any scientific accuracy or reliability.

What is the average age for menopause onset?

The average age for the onset of menopause is 51. It usually happens between the ages of 45-55. However, some people may experience early menopause or premature menopause before the age of 40 because of underlying health issues or medical conditions.

How do genetics influence menopause timing?

The research tells us the age you reach menopause will be similar to the age your mother or sister reached menopause. This is down to familial factors and genetic markers. While genetics play a crucial role, they’re not the sole determining factor. Lifestyle choices, environmental factors and medical history can impact the age you’ll reach menopause too.

What lifestyle factors can affect the age of menopause?

Lifestyle factors such as being overweight or underweight, drinking alcohol, smoking and stress can cause your ovarian reserve to diminish sooner, and as a result, reach the onset of menopause younger.

References

  1. https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/womens-health/later-years-around-50-years-and-over/menopause-and-post-menopause-health/after-the-menopause/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8988816/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4666866/#:~:text=Excessive%20stress%2C%20which%20leads%20to,ability%2C%20including%20by%20accelerating%20menopause
  4. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/early-menopause/
  5. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/early-menopause/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26569518/ 
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3955043/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3000672/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3955043/
  10. https://www.themenopausecharity.org/2021/10/21/menopause-and-cancer/
  11. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/irregular-periods/#:~:text=A%20woman’s%20periods%20are%20irregular,when%20you’re%20nearing%20menopause
Zoya Ali BSc, MSc

Zoya Ali BSc, MSc

Zoya is a scientific researcher with a Bachelor's degree in Biotechnology and a Masters in Prenatal Genetics & Foetal Medicine from University College London. Her research interests are reproductive genetics, fertility preservation, gynaecological health conditions and sexual health.

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