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Menopause Causes

Overview

Menopause is caused by a reduced presence of female hormones. Menopause is a natural process, which usually occurs around the age of 50. However, if the normal menstrual cycle is interrupted prior to age 40, it is thought to be abnormal and is referred to as premature menopause.

Risk Factors

Risk factors for premature menopause include:

  • Family history of premature menopause
  • Surgical removal of the ovaries
  • Radiation
  • Chemotherapy
  • Medications that reduce estrogen levels
  • Smoking
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Certain medical treatments, including
    • Pelvic surgery
    • Chemotherapy
    • Pelvic radiation therapy

References

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.nia.nih.gov/ . Accessed November 2009.

North American Menopause Society website. Available at: http://www.menopause.org/. Accessed February 15, 2006.

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