According to a 2016 study, women who got their periods before 12-years of age and who had no children had a significantly higher chance of entering early menopause than women who started later and had two or more births. Marla Ahlgrimm describes premature menopause as the lack of a period for 12 months before a woman’s 40th birthday; early menopause occurs between 40 and 44 years of age.
Both a woman’s age at the onset of menses and beginning of menopause are indicative of her overall health. While it’s not certain exactly what this potential link means to women’s health on a broad scale, it’s worth further study, Ahlgrimm asserts. New research would open up the opportunity to monitor for issues, intervene as soon as possible, and help a woman prepare for the effects of early menopause.
Marla Ahlgrimm notes that data used in the study, which took place in Australia, was adjusted for factors that might affect a woman’s age at menopause. These include smoking, education, BMI, birth year, and marital status. Researchers noted in the study that first menstruation was self-stated, leaving the possibility for age-of-onset misreporting.
In order to improve quality of life and later health outcomes, women must understand all risk factors from birth onward, says Marla Ahlgrimm. Since a woman’s reproductive system is so important to her health, it only makes sense to monitor early on and to recognize any potential health condition triggers.
Marla Ahlgrimm concludes by explaining that women who understand their risk of early menopause are in a better position to make informed decisions about their reproductive health at all stages.