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Pros and Cons of Late Menopause You Might Not Be Aware Of

Pros and Cons of Late Menopause You Might Not Be Aware Of

When it comes to menopause, there’s no exact timing as to when it happens. Some women might experience it early in life, while others can experience what’s known as late onset menopause. In this article, we will be briefly discussing late onset menopause as well as the pros and cons of late menopause.

What is late onset menopause?

As the name suggests, late onset menopause is menopause that happens later in a woman’s life. Most women start to experience menopause when they are about 45-55 years old. But it’s also possible for some women to start menopause in their early 40s. Conversely, some women might start later when they’re already 55 years old or older, which is known as late onset menopause.

While late menopause might have some benefits, there are also some risks associated with it. Generally speaking, early menopause puts a woman at a higher risk for a number of diseases.

What are the pros and cons of late menopause?

Pro: Lower risk of stroke and cardiovascular problems

Researchers have found that late onset menopause can potentially lower a woman’s risk of stroke, as well as cardiovascular problems.

One possible explanation for this is that estrogen has a beneficial effect on the heart. In particular, it helps maintain the flexibility of the heart walls, allowing it to contract and expand in order to efficiently pump blood throughout the body. This helps lower the risk of cardiovascular problems.

Women who are in menopause no longer produce any estrogen. This means that the beneficial effects it has on the heart are no longer there, so women in menopause can have a higher risk of heart problems.

pros and cons of late menopause

Pro: Longer lifespan

Another study found that women who have experienced late menopause have longer lifespans compared to other women.

Researchers are still not sure why this is the case, and why women who experience early menopause can have shorter lifespans. One reason for this is that early menopause generally puts a woman at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes and other health problems.

pros and cons of late menopause

Pro: Better memory

One benefit of late menopause is having better memory. As people grow older, it’s normal for the brain to experience cognitive decline.

However, a study found that women who experienced late onset menopause have better cognition compared to other women of the same age. One possible explanation that the researchers put forth is that estrogen can also have a protective effect on neurons or brain cells.

This means that the longer a woman’s body produces estrogen, the more protection their brain can have against cognitive decline.

Con: Increased cancer risk

One of the most prominent risks associated with late menopause is that it can increase the risk of ovarian, uterine, and breast cancer.

Just as estrogen has some beneficial effects on one’s health, it also has some negative effects on the body. In late menopause, higher amounts of estrogen can increase the risk of uterine cancer. Additionally, high estrogen levels are also related to a higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

Aside from this, a woman’s risk of uterine cancer goes up as she grows older. As a result, women who experience late menopause generally have a higher risk of other cancers compared to other women.

Key takeaways

For the most part, there really is no way to control when menopause can happen. A lot of factors come into play on whether or not a woman can experience late menopause.

The most important thing to remember would be to stay healthy, and prioritize your health. If you feel anything wrong, or any sudden changes in your body, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor about it.

Learn more about Women’s Health here.

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Sources

Age at menopause and lifetime cognition | Neurology, https://n.neurology.org/content/90/19/e1673, Accessed December 3, 2020

Duration of Reproductive Years and the Risk of Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Events in Older Women: Insights from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey | Journal of Women’s Health, https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/jwh.2016.6013, Accessed December 3, 2020

Age at menopause, cause-specific mortality and total life expectancy – PubMed, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15951675/, Accessed December 3, 2020

Perimenopause – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/perimenopause/symptoms-causes/syc-20354666, Accessed December 3, 2020

Menopause – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/symptoms-causes/syc-20353397, Accessed December 3, 2020

Menopause – NHS, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/#:~:text=The%20menopause%20is%20a%20natural,before%2040%20years%20of%20age., Accessed December 3, 2020

Menopause and Heart Disease | American Heart Association, https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/consumer-healthcare/what-is-cardiovascular-disease/menopause-and-heart-disease, Accessed December 3, 2020

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara on Dec 08, 2020
Medically reviewed by Jobelle Ann Dela Cruz Bigalbal, M.D.
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