Menopause Health Center

My mother entered menopause much earlier than my own age. I still have a regular menstrual cycle and have therefore not started menopause. Is there something wrong?

  • Menopause occurs at different times for every woman. While there may be similarities about the age at which some women start menopause, it is not exactly the same and does not apply to everyone. The average age for the onset of menopause is 51. However, various factors can affect that statistic. Some women start menopause in their 40s, while others don’t experience it until their late 50s. If you or your mother is a smoker, it may help to explain the difference, as smoking can cause menopause at an earlier stage in life. Additionally, if one of you has had surgery to remove your ovaries and/or uterus, that could affect the production of estrogen and could either jumpstart menopause or delay it.

My feelings about sex are changing as I’m experiencing menopause. Is this normal?

  • Yes, it is completely normal. Menopause and the changing levels of female hormones in the body can change how women feel about sex. You may become more interested in sex or less interested — both are normal reactions. After one full year without a period, it is no longer physically possible to become pregnant. But the risk of STDs and HIV are still possible, so it is still important to use protection even without the risk of pregnancy.

Heart disease runs in my family and I’m worried about my risk as I enter menopause. What can I do to stay healthy?

  • Your risk for both osteoporosis and heart disease rises greatly during menopause. Those who have a family history of either are at greater risk. Check your blood pressure regularly as well as your levels of triglycerides, fasting blood sugar and LDL, HDL and total cholesterol. Talk to your doctor about additional measures you can take to protect your heart. Exercise at least three times a week, and make fiber and low fat foods a part of your regular diet. Stop smoking, and ask your doctor if you should take calcium and vitamin D supplements to improve your health.
Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
August 2, 2012
Last Updated:
August 22, 2014