Women whose menstrual cycles are less than 25 days are more likely to experience early menopause

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According to one study, women who have shorter menstrual cycles begin menopause two years earlier than others and experience most symptoms by midlife.

Researchers led by Harvard Medical School followed 600 women aged 33 to at least 51 and asked them to self-report symptoms of menopause and the cessation of their cycles.

According to the study, those with shorter cycles – less than 26 days – reach menopause at age 49 on average, while those with normal cycles – 26 to 34 days – reach menopause around age 51. Women with shorter cycles were also more likely to report symptoms, including sleep and heart problems and depression.

The scientists behind the article said age at menopause – when the menstrual cycle stops – is a good marker of overall health. They called for more research on the subject to establish the health impacts of a shorter cycle.

It comes after a doctor warned that early menopause could shorten a woman’s lifespan as it alters hormonal balance, causing faster decline and increasing the risk of conditions including heart disease, strokes and arthritis.

The graph above shows the results of the study. It reveals that women with shorter menstrual cycles reach menopause at age 49 on average, while those with normal cycles – 26 to 34 days – reach menopause at age 51.

Researchers led by Harvard Medical School followed 600 women aged 33 to at least 51 and asked them to self-report symptoms of menopause and the cessation of their cycles (stock image)

For the study, published this week in the journal Menopausescientists recruited women in their first 22 weeks of pregnancy from clinics in Massachusetts between 1999 and 2000 and asked them to report the length of their menstrual cycle.

About 72% of participants were white and 80% had a college degree.

They were divided into three groups based on the length of their menstrual cycle; 90 women in the “short” group, 505 in the “normal” group and 39 in the “long” group — more than 34 days.

WHAT IS MENOPAUSE?

Menopause is defined as the changes a woman goes through just before and after her period stops and is no longer able to get pregnant naturally.

Some women go through this period with few or no symptoms, around 60% have symptoms leading to behavioral changes and one in four will experience severe pain.

Common symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness leading to discomfort during sex, disturbed sleep, decreased libido, memory and concentration problems, and mood swings.

Menopause occurs when your ovaries stop producing as much estrogen hormone and no longer release an egg each month.

American experts say that women go through menopause at the age of 51 on average, although it can start when someone is between 40 and 58 years old.

About 18 years later – in their 40s – they were asked to return to report whether they suffered from symptoms and the age at which they had reached menopause.

Cycle length, symptoms, and age of menopause were self-reported, meaning they were not independently assessed by a physician.

The results showed that women with shorter cycles were around 67% more likely to experience early menopause than those with normal cycles.

Those with longer cycles took the longest to reach menopause, reaching it at around age 52 on average.

Women with shorter cycles also reported the most symptoms from menopause to midlife on average compared to the other two groups.

Compared to those with a normal cycle, they were 92% more likely to say they had problems sleeping, 85% more likely to report symptoms of depression and 68% more likely to say they had problems cardiac.

They were also more likely to say they suffered from exhaustion (52%), hot flashes (38%) and muscle problems (14%).

The study also found that women with shorter cycles were less likely to be white, have a college degree, or have a household income above $70,000 a year.

Dr Lidia Minguez-Alarcon, a human fertility researcher who led the study, and others said: “We observed that women with short menstrual cycles during childbearing years had a higher frequency of menopausal symptoms. totals … and an earlier age from natural menopause to midlife.

“Using the menstrual cycle as an additional vital sign adds a powerful tool to the assessment of physical and mental health.”

Menopause is a natural part of aging, with symptoms appearing up to ten years before cycles stop.

To help relieve these symptoms, doctors recommend getting enough rest, eating calcium-rich foods like milk, and exercising regularly. They also say it’s important to talk to others who are going through the same thing.

But women may also be offered patches to help increase levels of hormones that the body stops making during menopause.

It comes after an expert suggested that delaying menopause could prolong a woman’s lifespan, as the hormonal changes it triggers lead to faster aging throughout the body.

Dr Jennifer Garrison, an award-winning scientist who heads the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, warned that the process alters the body’s hormonal balance, causing it to decline more rapidly.

Speaking at the Life Itself conference in San Diego, Calif., she said women who start menopause in their 40s rather than around 51, the middle age, are likely to age faster than their peers.

Garrison said: “When a woman is in her late 20s or early 30s, the rest of her tissues are working at full capacity, but her ovaries are already showing clear signs of aging.

“Yet most women learn about their ovaries and ovarian function when they first use them and find out they are geriatric.

She added: “Studies show that women who experience late menopause tend to live longer and have an increased ability to repair their DNA.

“But women with natural menopause before age 40 are twice as likely to die (early) as women with natural menopause between ages 50 and 54.”

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