Menopause Risk Factors


Menopause is a natural phenomenon when a female stops having periods; this nearly occurs between the age of 45 to 50, and the mean age for menopause is 51.1,2 During this period, a female has hormonal variations such as follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) increase and oestrogen levels decrease.1 The rise of FSH results in a decline in the inhibin B (INH-B), a dimeric protein that reflects the fall in the ovarian follicle. Change in menopause includes central neuroendocrine.3 Symptoms include dysfunctional uterine bleeding, termed postmenstrual transitions, and around 75% of women suffer from vasomotor symptoms.3,4 Hot flashes, mood disorders, sleep disturbance, an increase in body weight, and disturbance in the metabolism are some other symptoms of menopause.5 Though menopause is a natural phenomenon, it gets affected by several risk factors.

Risk factors

  • Obesity-. Oestrogen is responsible for fat deposition in the femoral region, and androgen promotes the growth of fat in the abdominal region, indicating that obesity affects oestrogen and androgen. It’s estimated that there is a 4.88-fold higher risk of developing abdominal fat during post-menstruation.5
  • Smoking- Cigarette smoking is a cause of early menopause in females Bernhard claimed this in 1949. Since then, there have been several studies on the connection between smoking and menopause.6 Smoking has lowered the age of menopause; studies have observed early menopause in 20% of female smokers (n=659).7 Therefore, the consumption of tobacco should not be done.
  • Cancer – late menopause is linked with breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, and hepatocellular carcinoma.7 Ovarian cancer patients have late natural menopause when compared to others. Still, when the case is severe during ovarian cancer, it leads to the removal of the uterus, termed artificial menopause.8
  • Chemotherapy- chemotherapy results in premature menopause; the study states that women receiving adjacent chemotherapy face menopausal symptoms 6-12 weeks after or during the treatment. Around 25% suffer from pre-menopause due to chemotherapy.4
  • Alcohol- consumption of alcohol affects females differently. A study states that alcohol partially affects menopause.7 Postmenstrual women are more prone to alcohol use disorders (AUD) with a higher drop in oestrogen.
  • Stress, anxiety, and depression- stress and depression get triggered by the consumption of alcohol. These factors are common in elderly women at the end of their reproductive stage and get affected due to trauma or emotional damage, altogether affecting menopause.9
  • Unhealthy eating- poor nutrition leads to many disorders in the human body. Women should consume a proper nutritional diet that includes high protein fibre, fruits, vegetables, etc. all these should be followed during post menstrual period, if not, it leads to bone problems.10


Menopause occurs naturally during a certain period depending on the age (45-55). There are several stages for menopause, pre-menstruation, and post-menstruation, which depend upon the health of the female. Menopause is controlled by the hormones (FSH, oestrogen) produced by endocrine. Several risk factors affect the cycle of menopause like consumption of alcohol, tobacco, stress, and many more which are discussed above and lead to disturbance in the natural menopause. All this should be taken care of by avoiding tobacco and alcohol and eating healthy, nutritious food to avoid major risk factors.


  1. Ouzounian S, Christin-Maitre S. What is menopause? La Revue du praticien. 2005;55(4):363-8.
  2. Ginsberg J. What determines the age at the menopause? BMJ: British Medical Journal. 1991;302(6788):1288.
  3. Burger HG, Dudley EC, Robertson DM, Dennerstein L. Hormonal changes in the menopause transition. Recent progress in hormone research. 2002;57:257-76.
  4. Poniatowski BC, Grimm P, Cohen G. Chemotherapy-induced menopause: a literature review. Cancer investigation. 2001;19(6):641-8.
  5. Kozakowski J, Gietka-Czernel M, Leszczyńska D, Majos A. Obesity in menopause–our negligence or an unfortunate inevitability? Menopause Review/Przegląd Menopauzalny. 2017;16(2):61-5.
  6. Midgette AS, Baron JA. Cigarette smoking and the risk of natural menopause. Epidemiology. 1990:474-80.
  7. Parente RC, Faerstein E, Celeste RK, Werneck GL. The relationship between smoking and age at the menopause: a systematic review. Maturitas. 2008;61(4):287-98.
  8. HARTGE P, HOOVER R, McGOWAN L, LESHER L, NORRIS HJ. Menopause and ovarian cancer. American journal of epidemiology. 1988;127(5):990-8.
  9. Milic J, Glisic M, Voortman T, Borba LP, Asllanaj E, Rojas LZ, et al. Menopause, ageing, and alcohol use disorders in women. Maturitas. 2018;111:100-9.
  10. Pines A. Lifestyle and diet in postmenopausal women. Climacteric. 2009;12(sup1):62-5.

Srishti Dixit

Masters of Science in Biomedical Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

Hi! My name is Srishti Dixit I am currently doing my masters in Biomedical Engineering. I have always been inclined towards research and scientific writing since my bachelors. Sharing knowledge about health and healthy lifestyle and alarming people about it is important. A healthy mindset and body is always a first step to positivity. Reading articles spread awareness and encouragement to follow a healthy lifestyle. presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
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