95% of women enter menopause after the age of 45. In 1% of women, menstruation ends prior to age 40, in 1:1000 prior to age 30, and in 1: 10,000 prior to age 20. The menstrual cycle may also end prematurely because of surgical removal of the ovaries, radiation or chemotherapy.
If your periods end early, the symptoms may feel like menopause, but it is very different. Medically it is called Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI). It is not menopause!
If your periods have stopped, you need to see your doctor to find out why (see the website YourPeriod.ca). If your doctor determines that you have POI, or if you have lost ovarian function because of surgery, radiation or chemotherapy, your doctor will recommend:
If your periods end early and you wish to have children, an infertility specialist will be able to discuss your options. Some women whose menstrual cycles end early will ovulate occasionally; the chance of pregnancy is small, but it is there. In other cases, egg donation and in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be an option.