When Does Menopause Happen and Can It Happen Early?
Menopause doesn't usually happen before you are 40, but it can happen any time from your 30s to your mid-50s or later. The average age of women who reach menopause is 51.
(Click Average Age of Menopause for more information on this topic.)
Smoking can lead to early menopause. Some types of surgery can also bring on perimenopause (early menopause). For example, removing your uterus (hysterectomy) before menopause will make your periods stop, but your ovaries will still make hormones. That means you could still have symptoms of menopause, like hot flashes, when your ovaries start to make less estrogen. But when both ovaries are also removed (oophorectomy), menopause symptoms can start right away -- no matter what your age is -- because your body has lost its main supply of estrogen.