An Early First Menstrual Period May Lead To Premature Menopause

Women who get their first period when they were 11 or younger are more likely to hit menopause before the age of 40, a study finds. And women with early menstruation who had no children were even more likely to have premature menopause.

Women in the study who got their first period at age 11 or younger were 80 percent more likely to have premature menopause, which is the relative risk compared to women who got their first periods later. And they had a 30 percent increased risk of early menopause, defined as by age 44.

The median age of menopause for women in the study, which was published Tuesday in the journal Human Reproduction, was 50. The median age of a first period was 13.

As many women going through menopause know, the process can come with unwanted symptoms like hot flashes, fatigue, and bone loss. Early menopause can increase the risk of more serious health concerns, including polycystic ovary syndrome, heart disease, diabetes and endometriosis.

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