Predicting the onset of menopause

Ninety days without a menstrual period virtually guarantees the arrival of menopause within 2 to 4 years, according to a recent analysis of 326 menstruating, middle-aged women.

The study found that 87.6% of women who had not had a period for at least 90 days reached menopause in 2 years and 100% did so within 4 years. Other factors that predict the onset of menopause in 2 and 4 years include:

  • variable cycle lengths (69.6%; 90.5%, respectively);

  • more than 60 days without a period in the previous year (56.4%; 98.4%);

  • cycle lengths varying by 19 or more days (35.2%; 70.6%);

  • changes in cycle regularity (29%; 63.4%).

Taylor SM, Kinney AM, Kline JK. Menopausal transition: predicting time to menopause for women 44 years or older from simple questions on menstrual variability. Menopause. 2004;11:40-48.

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