According to EMedicineHealth.com, the average age of menopause for U.S. women is 51. However, an average is just an average, so there are exceptions to the rule on both ends of the spectrum.
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It can be particularly confusing or alarming when a woman starts experiencing symptoms of menopause before the age of 40, which the medical world defines as premature ovarian failure. Here are six things to know about premature menopause, and even why it might be happening to you before you were expecting it…
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It Can Occur in Teenage Years
SELF explains that there’s a condition called premature ovarian failure (POF), which is often used interchangeably with the term premature menopause (which is marked by the ovaries no longer producing estrogen, which drives the reproductive cycle in women).
Only about 1-percent of American women are affected by POF, but it can develop as early as their teens in some cases, adds the source. However, it’s important to note that it’s extremely rare in teenagers. It’s more common in women in their thirties. There is one major difference between POF and premature menopause, however: it’s still possible for a women suffering from POF to become pregnant through assisted methods such as IVF. “However, once your period is gone for a full year, you’ve officially entered menopause – and menopause is for good,” it adds.