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Study: Lots of Exercise May Cause Early Menopause

By HERWriter Guide
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A Japanese study (from Gifu University in Gifu, Japan) that monitored the diet and exercise levels of pre-menopausal women for a decade showed that the more a woman exercises and eats healthy, including a diet of fish and vegetable oils (i.e; polyunsaturated fats) the more likely she is to enter into menopause early.

For those who exercise a lot (8-10 hours per week), the chance of early menopause is 17 percent higher than women who do not work out and for those with a diet high in healthy oils, the higher percentage is about 15 percent. The average age to start menopause is about 52 years old but it can start in the 40s or well into the mid- or even late-50s.

The activities and diets of about 1,800 women between the ages of 35 and 56 were monitored over a period of 10 years to determine if lifestyle choices influenced the timing of menopause. The results were clear that they did. Women with less healthy diets who did not exercise much are less likely to enter menopause early.

Researchers believe that the fact that exercise reduces the amount of estrogen in a woman's body can trigger menopause earlier. This brings both good and bad news. Less estrogen in the body can reduce the risk of breast cancer but can also increase the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis.

However, experts don't believe these potential risks are high enough to warrant women to slow down their exercise regimes or change their diets. The advantages of this kind of lifestyle far outweigh any negatives.


FoxNews.com. Women Who Exercise Often Hit Menopause Earlier. Web. 12th Oct. 2011.

Menopause. University of Maryland Medical Center. Web. 12th Oct. 2011.

Tell Us
Would a study like this influence your lifestyle?

Reviewed October 13, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment2 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I would bet this would not happen to someone who eats enougth calories to cope with the extra exercise. As for polyunsaturated oils, there not healthy, only the omega 3 fish oils are the exception. Other oils, like veg oil etc are more unhealthy then saturated fats. This is because the body makes hormones from saturated fats, too much polyunsaturated fat will rob you of cholestrol. People who dont exercise need to be robbed of cholestrol as they make more then they can find use for, people who exercise need more for repair. If there diet is missing cholestrol, there liver carnt always make the extra needed when the diet is loaded with polyunsaturated fats. Hormones then decline, and same for men two. Polyunsaturated fats also rob the body of antioxidants, as more free radicals are generated with exercise and levels of SOD decline with age, faster aging occurs. For fit people omega 6 fats should be reduced. Then eggs, cheese and red meat added to the diet, along with olive oil and fruits and veg. Oily fish can stay as it contains omega 3 fats, these types of polyunsaturated fats are needed to reverse the effects of all the omega 6 in the modern diet. These low calorie low fat low cholestorel diets are for those who are either very over weight, or are inactive. A diet like that is unhealthy for a fit person. Also women who are very active, there is no need to have a very low body fat level (unless its the way you are anyway), you can be fit and of normal weight anmd look a lot better for it too. Many of these skinny women look old in there 30's.

April 1, 2012 - 4:11am
EmpowHER Guest

Thank God, Finally, someone is talking about this issue. I am 33, and exercise enthusiast, who lost their period about 2 years ago at the age of 32. I have been beating my head off doctors and specialists walls from one end of the country to the other trying to find anwsers. The doctors all blamed me for being "to thin" and exercising to much. They keep inisisting and pushing birth control pills on me to restart my periods, but the moment I start to take them I hit a wall of depression and a 10lbs weight gain. The last time I came off the pill I lost 10lbs in a week, without changing my eating or exercising one bit.
What are if any are the treaments beng explored here-More dicussion on this is needed!

October 24, 2011 - 10:21am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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