You Can’t Delay It
Dr Chua Yang, director, specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist at A Clinic For Women Dr Kelly Loi, obstetrician and gynaecologist at Mount Elizabeth Hospital Dr Kim Hayes, director and managing physician at Complete Healthcare International
How many of us have joked that we can’t wait for the day our periods stop? For the cramping, moodiness, staining and inconvenience to end? On average, Singaporean women hit menopause between 50 and 51 years; the normal age range is between 45 and 55 years, says Dr Chua Yang, director, specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist at A Clinic For Women.
When a woman hits menopause, her ovaries stop producing eggs and her body makes less oestrogen and progesterone, the female hormones. This leads to less frequent periods and eventually, no periods at all – she then cannot get pregnant anymore. If your period doesn’t come for 12 months in a row, chances are, you are menopausing.
However, one in 100 women here has early menopause – where she “When menopause happens is largely predetermined by the number of eggs a woman is born with, which decreases as she gets older,” says Dr Kelly Loi, obstetrician and gynaecologist at Mount Elizabeth Hospital. “If she has surgery for ovarian cysts (where some ovarian tissue and eggs may be removed), or chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer, these can affect her eggs, and menopause may occur earlier. Smoking can also lead to early menopause.”
Dr Chua explains that there’s no known cause for early menopause in most women, except for a genetic link. “If you have a family history of early menopause, there is little that can be done to prevent it,” she points out. There is also no way to delay it, with or without a family history.