In the UK, the average age to start menopause is approximately 51 years old, but is generally accepted to be any time between the ages of 45 and 55. However we can get a potential indication of the age at which we will start menopause (give or take a year) by talking to our mothers or older female relatives, as there is a strong genetic link between the age they started theirs, and the age we will begin ours.
There are some factors that can alter this predicted age, such as smoking, some cancer treatments and ovarian surgeries, so check out our blog about mothers and mapping your menopause for more information on this. Some of us will start menopause much earlier than our predicted age for a variety of reasons.
If we start menopause before 40 (as happens to 1% of women naturally) it's called premature menopause, and if we start between 40 and 45 it's called early menopause, which happens to 5% of us. A further 0.1% of women start menopause before they are 30 but this is incredibly rare if it is not triggered by surgery or medications.
Premature menopause isn't common and in 90% of cases there is no obvious reason why the ovaries stop working early, although it can be caused by chemotherapy or surgery affecting the ovaries. Early menopause is still quite rare compared to the experiences of most women, but is not considered to be cause for alarm.
Whatever the reason, women who experience premature or early menopause can expect to experience the same symptoms as those who start later in life. This means they can benefit from taking the same supplements and using the same strategies as older menopausal women. Clinically, HRT is generally offered those experiencing early and premature menopause to address the increased risk of osteoporosis and heart disease. Replacing hormones in women in their 30s and 40s who have entered menopause doesn't appear to carry the same risks as it can in older women, especially given the longer term health benefits of doing so.
Our MenoShake is suitable for women who are experiencing premature or early menopause as it helps ease the symptoms which are the same whatever age you are. We understand that experiencing this transition earlier than expected can be emotionally difficult, especially if you were planning to start or grow a family. It can also feel quite isolating because your friends probably aren't having the same experience.
While you can manage many symptoms with exercise, strategies for dealing with hot flushes and night sweats, and by taking supplements like our MenoShake, we recommend connecting with support groups online (or in person if they exist in your area) to share experiences and support with other women in the same boat. Of course, you can talk to menopausal women who are older but sometimes the specific life issues facing younger women going through menopause can only be understood by people in the same situation.Dealing with a diagnosis of premature or early menopause can be incredibly hard, especially if it is the result of surgery or medical treatment which you'll also be processing. Getting the right emotional support is a really important part of managing, as is making the lifestyle changes you'll need to embrace for a happier, healthier menopause. Luckily, our MenoShake looks just like any other sports or protein shake so you can still swig it after a gym session and feel like yourself.