menopause matters، The calculation of the age at which a woman reaches menopause should take into account the experience of her mother or sisters, according to a study carried out at the Institute of Cancer Research (United Kingdom). Women with a mother or sisters who have reached menopause at age 45 are almost six times more likely to repeat the experience. Also, those who enter menopause after age 54 are six times more likely to repeat maternal history and are twice as likely to reach menopause at the same age as their sisters. But that age is not completely hereditary. A lot depends on environmental factors.
“Genes have a significant effect on the age of arrival at menopause, but lifestyle also matters, since behaviors can change that age,” explained the study’s author, Danielle Morris. Smokers, for example, tend to reach menopause one or two years earlier than ex-smokers or nonsmokers. In women who did not have children, that stage is also advanced.
Age of arrival at menopause is key to fertility, writes Morris’s team in Menopause magazine , since the ability to conceive ends 10 years earlier.
According to the National Institute on Aging, 51 years is the average age at which a woman reaches menopause or has her last period. But some have it between 40 and 50 years and others past 50.
The authors found that the early or late arrival of menopause is so linked to genes. Women with sisters and mothers who had reached menopause at average age were two to seven times more likely to repeat the story.
Who Experiences Menopause?
Menopause happens naturally to women at the end of their childbearing years, usually as they approach mid-life, when they stop ovulating and their bodies stop preparing for the possibility of bearing a child.
In America, the average age for menopause is 51 for non-smokers and 49 for smokers, with a typical age range somewhere between 47 and 55 years. Some women experience menopause sooner — before age 45 is considered early menopause, and before age 40 is considered premature menopause. Women who undergo hysterectomy surgery may experience menopause sooner than they would have naturally. Regardless, any woman who is approaching the middle of life can expect hormonal changes to kick in soon and for the menopause process to start. If symptoms are especially difficult or hard to handle, it can be helpful to seek support from health care professionals.
Are you or someone you love experiencing difficult symptoms and side effects that you believe are caused by menopause? Has transitioning into this new season of life created complications? Perhaps it’s time to find a health professional near you that can help. Through proper menopause treatment, you can get through this experience comfortably, without significant struggle or discomfort. When you meet with a medical professional that studies your specific situation and symptoms, you can find out which treatments are best for your needs.
Is there a relationship between menopause and high blood pressure?
Response from Shannon K. Laughlin-Tommaso, MD
In general, blood pressure increases after menopause. Some doctors believe that this increase indicates that hormonal changes related to menopause may contribute to high blood pressure. Other doctors believe that the increase in body mass index (BMI) in menopausal women has a more important role than hormonal changes.
The hormonal changes related to menopause can cause weight gain and blood pressure to react more to the salt ingested with the diet, which, in turn, can cause high blood pressure. Some types of hormone therapy for menopause can also contribute to the Increased blood pressure.
To control your blood pressure before and after menopause, focus on a healthy lifestyle:
Maintain a healthy weight
Eat heart-healthy foods, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
Reduce the amount of processed foods and salt in your diet.
Do exercises most days of the week.
Limit or avoid alcohol.
If you smoke, quit smoking.
If necessary, your doctor may prescribe medications to lower blood pressure.