If you’re a smoker, then you already know that it’s not good for you. Smoking can lead women to transition to menopause up to two years earlier than expected. This is because of the anti-estrogen effects of nicotine. Researchers from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, found that women who have smoked more than 100 cigarettes in their lives had a 26% greater chance of going through menopause before the age of 50. Furthermore, the study also revealed that women who were exposed to the toxins of second-hand smoke on a regular basis also had a higher rate of early menopause.
4. You Had Problems Getting Pregnant
If you were diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) while going through infertility treatment, you, unfortunately, will more than likely experience early menopause. DOR means that your ovaries have fewer follicles left that will become eggs, so it will be harder to conceive and you’ll have a quicker road to menopause. If you’re still in the middle of family building, time is of the essence.
Early menopause can be a side effect of radiation or chemotherapy for cancer. Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and pelvic radiation, often damage ovarian tissue, resulting in premature ovarian failure, thus causing menopause. According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, symptoms of menopause from cancer treatments can be worse than natural menopause because the decrease in hormones happens more quickly. Furthermore, if cancer treatments don’t cause menopause right away, the damage that has already been done will lead to menopause sooner than normal.
6. You Are Very Underweight
When it comes to early menopause, not weighing enough is a greater risk factor than being overweight. Estrogen is stored in fat tissue, so being overweight increases the likelihood of having a later onset of menopause since there’s more estrogen. Being thin means that there’s less fat, and thus less estrogen, and a higher likelihood of going through early menopause.
The very definition of autoimmune means that your body is attacking itself. Therefore, for women who suffer from conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or Addison’s disease, damage to their eggs by their own immune system is possible. Certain types of autoimmune diseases produce antibodies that might mistakenly attack ovarian tissue, resulting in premature ovarian failure. Some also cause harm to glands that produce hormones. According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, recent studies suggest that up to 20% of women with premature ovarian failure also have an autoimmune disease.
8. You’re Very Stressed
While stress alone doesn’t cause early menopause, it might help it along. Recent research from the University of California San Francisco has shown that stress might, in fact, play a part in when a woman enters menopause. The good thing is that stress, along with smoking and weight, can be controlled.