New Test Could Predict Menopause Age

19/10/2010 12:25 | Updated 22 May 2015

A new test could predict when a woman will start the menopause.

Whilst the average age for women in the UK to go through the menopause is 52, (defined by when periods have stopped for 12 months) for 1 per cent of women it will happen before they reach 40.

The test, which is presently still in the development stage, could predict when a woman will start the menopause by examining 'clues' in her genes, thus allowing her to plan when to start a family.

The researchers at the University of Exeter Peninsula Medical School and the Institute of Cancer Research who are developing the test, found four genes linked to early menopause. They compared the DNA of 2,000 women who had the genes with those who had stopped their periods at the normal age.

Lead scientist Dr Anna Murray said: 'It is estimated that a woman's ability to conceive decreases on average ten years before she starts the menopause. Therefore, those who are destined to have an early menopause and delay childbearing until their 30s are more likely to have problems conceiving.'

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