Menopause - when periods stop as eggs are no longer produced by the ovaries and the production of oestrogen stops – is generally thought to happen when women reach the age of 50.
However according to a (small) study of 2000 women by health company Balance Activ the real number could be closer to 46.
Psychotherapist Lucy Beresford told The Mirror, "Anecdotally we hear that the menopause is beginning to start earlier, in the same way as puberty is starting younger."
According to the Australian Menopause Society menopause can occur before the age of 40 because of natural ceasing of ovary function, after surgery to remove ovaries or cancer treatment. Early menopause is slated as between the ages of 40 and 45.
Symptoms of menopause can include hot flushes, body aches and sleeping difficulties, though it affects women differently.
Source: Women's Weekly