Unraveling the Mystery: What Causes Early Menopause?

Rahul Gupta
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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what causes early menopause

Early Menopause refers to the cessation of Menstruation and reproductive ability before age 40. 

It is also known as premature Menopause or premature ovarian failure.

While Menopause is a natural stage in a woman’s life, early Menopause can be a significant concern, impacting fertility and overall health. 

This article explores the various causes of early Menopause, shedding light on the factors that can lead to this premature transition.

Genetic factors

One of the primary causes of early Menopause can be attributed to genetic factors

A family history of early Menopause can increase the likelihood of experiencing premature ovarian failure. 

Some genetic mutations and chromosomal abnormalities, including Turner syndrome or Fragile X syndrome, can cause early Menopause.

Autoimmune disorders

Certain autoimmune disorders, such as Thyroiditis and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, can affect the ovaries’ function and lead to early Menopause. 

You may also face symptoms like constipation, depression, fatigue, and muscle weakness.

These conditions cause the immune system to attack healthy tissues, including ovarian tissue, disrupting hormonal balance and accelerating ovarian aging. 

Autoimmune oophoritis, a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks the ovaries, can also contribute to premature Menopause.

If you face problems like constipation, depression, fatigue, and muscle weakness, immediately consult your doctor as it may lead to something serious.

Medical treatments

Radiation TherapySource: Mark_Kostich_from_Getty_Images_Signature
Radiation Therapy

Medical interventions, such as cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation, can damage ovarian tissue and adversely affect ovarian function. 

If performed before Menopause, surgical procedures like Bilateral oophorectomy or Hysterectomy might cause premature Menopause. 

Furthermore, treatments for certain autoimmune diseases may involve medications that can impact ovarian function.

Hormonal imbalance

PCOS and thyroid issues can alter menstrual cycles and cause premature ovarian failure. 

Hormonal abnormalities can accelerate ovarian aging and decrease Estrogen and Progesterone production.

As a result, it causes Menopause-like symptoms at a younger age.

Lifestyle factors

Confident lifestyle choices can also contribute to premature Menopause. 

Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and poor nutrition may impact reproductive health and hasten the decline in ovarian function.

Conversely, maintaining a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and regular exercise may help delay the onset of Menopause.

Recommended Article:
Diet plays a significant role in treating the symptoms of Menopause. Read our Informed article “Eating Through the Change: A Menopause Diet Guide“.

Environmental factors

Exposure to environmental toxins and pollutants can have a detrimental impact on ovarian health.

As a result, it can potentially accelerate ovarian aging and contribute to premature ovarian failure. 

Pesticides and industrial toxins can disturb hormonal balance and ovarian function, affecting Menopause timing.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Untreated or recurrent PID can cause inflammation and fallopian tubes and ovaries scarring.

As a result, it affects fertility and increases the risk of early Menopause. 

Proper and timely treatment of PID is crucial to reduce the risk of premature Menopause.

Emotional stress

stressed woman in workplaceSource: marinesea
Stressed woman in workplace

Chronic emotional stress can disrupt the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Ovarian (HPO) axis.

The HPO axis controls the menstrual cycle and hormone production. 

Stress-induced hormonal imbalances can lead to irregular periods and early Menopause. 

Managing stress through relaxation techniques and self-care practices may help support reproductive health.

Gynecological conditions

Certain gynecological conditions, like Endometriosis, can affect ovarian function. 

Endometrial tissue outside the uterus can lead to inflammation and scarring of the ovaries and fallopian tubes, impacting ovarian health.

Did you know?
Endometriosis is a medical condition in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus.


Early Menopause can be a distressing experience, impacting their reproductive health and overall well-being. 

Understanding what causes early Menopause is essential for prior detection and appropriate management. 

Genetic factors, hormonal imbalances, lifestyle choices, and gynecological conditions all play significant roles in the onset of premature Menopause. 

Awareness of these factors can help you make informed decisions and seek timely medical advice to manage early Menopause effectively. 

For correct diagnosis and individualized therapy, see a doctor if you suspect early Menopause.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the earliest age for Menopause?

Menopause that happens before age 40 is called premature Menopause. Menopause that occurs between 40 and 45 is called early Menopause. About 5% of women naturally go through early Menopause. Smoking and certain medicines or treatments can cause Menopause to come earlier than usual.

Is early Menopause good or bad?

Early Menopause can have both positive and negative aspects. While some women may find relief from menstrual symptoms and the end of fertility concerns, it can also lead to health risks such as Osteoporosis and increased risk of heart disease. It is essential to consult a doctor for personalized guidance.

How do you confirm Menopause?

Changes in menstrual patterns and the appearance of hot flashes are usually the first signs. Although blood tests are not required, doctors can run blood or urine tests to determine levels of the hormones Estradiol, Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH), and Luteinizing Hormone (LH).

Does PCOS cause early Menopause?

PCOS does not cause early Menopause. However, PCOS can cause irregular menstrual cycles and hormonal imbalances, leading to fertility issues and delayed natural Menopause. Women with PCOS may experience Menopause at the usual age, but they may have unique challenges due to their underlying condition.

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