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Late Menopause

Hello, ladies! Your Question:

"Barbara, I am 56 and I am still having a cycle. Am I abnormal? Why am I not in menopause yet?"


The average age range for a woman to begin menopause is 45-55. If you are older and you are still menstruating, you have what is called "late-onset menopause."


I receive emails and calls from many women expressing these concerns, and I want to help.


Menopause — the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle — is a natural process which happens when the ovaries stop producing eggs and releasing hormones. While there’s no set age when menopause should start, a woman usually enters menopause anywhere between the mid-40s to mid-50s.


What causes late-onset menopause?

This can happen due to a range of different factors:

  • Genetics: Genetics determine the onset of menopause by about 50%. If your mother entered menopause late, then you may also have late-onset menopause.

  • Weight: Overweight women have a 50% higher rate of late-onset menopause compared to other women. This is because fat tissue produces and stores estrogen, which delays estrogen depletion and can lead to late-onset menopause.

  • Thyroid Problems: A dysfunctional thyroid gland, or other problems with this important gland, can lead to a variety of hormonal disorders in women and may contribute to late menopause. If you need my written information on thyroid help, please email me!

  • Menstrual Cycle Patterns: Women who started menstruating late and had lifelong irregularities, or have naturally high estrogen levels may experience later menopause.

  • Pregnancies: The timing and number of pregnancies you’ve had may delay the onset of menopause in many women.

So, late-onset menopause is fairly common with around 5-10% of women.



Medically speaking, it could be a cause of concern because women who reach menopause later are at a higher risk for breast, uterine and ovarian cancers. This is is due to the fact that women who menstruate for many years have an increased exposure to estrogen, which then increases their risk of developing these cancers.


So my darling friends, my “late bloomers” as my mother would say, it is important to have yourself examined and get necessary screening tests to rule out the possibilities of these health risk occurrences.


However, while the risk for breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers increase with late-onset menopause, women who go through menopause late are at a LOWER risk for heart disease and stroke. Women who have a late-onset menopause tend to have stronger bones, decreased risk of osteoporosis, and have fewer bone fractures. Again, all are due to having increased estrogen. Estrogen helps regenerate new bone growth, which maintains bone health.


Remember that God makes no mistakes! Do not fret; instead, be joyful!


A downside is having to buy pads or tampons for those extra years, and for that I am sorry! But, you can begin using progesterone while still menstruating to help smooth the eventual transition into peri-menopause and menopause. Look forward and up! Menopause is GREAT!


Email me for my "Menopause Myths Handout" and my "Menopause 12-Step Program." If you want all of my Hormone Balance information, I can include that, too. Just let me know!



My personal email: barbara@askbarbarahoffman.com


For all of you, thank you for your confidence in me!

Xoxox

Barbara


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