…‘Premature menopause is more common than people realise,’ says Nick Panay, chairman of the British Menopause Society and consultant gynaecologist at Queen Charlotte’s and the Chelsea and Westminster hospitals in London.
Indeed, previous estimates put the number affected at just 1 per cent, but a study last year from Imperial College London suggested as many as 6 per cent (one in 16) of women experience it.
Lifestyle may be to blame. The Imperial College study found a link with smoking.
Further research last year also suggested a link between premature menopause and PFCs — chemicals found in non-stick pans and food packaging. The women with the highest levels of PFCs in their body had the lowest levels of oestrogen in their blood.
Genetics may play a part, too, with women more likely to go through early menopause if their mother did. However, doctors say more research is needed…