Premenstrual Disorders May Be Preview of Early Menopause

2 min read

Sept. 21, 2023 – Women with premenstrual disorders may be more likely go through menopause before they are 45 years old, a new study suggests. 

Women with premenstrual disorders, or PMDs, were also more likely to have moderate or severe night sweats or hot flashes during menopause, the researchers found.

Published this week in JAMA Network Open, the new findings stem from data from more than 3,600 nurses who contributed their health information to a database between 1991 and 2017. Women with PMDs were more than twice as likely as women without PMDs to have early menopause.

Most women have menopause between the ages of 45 and 55 years old, according to the World Health Organization

There are numerous PMDs, including the well-known premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which is considered a mild disorder affecting up to 30% of women that causes symptoms like crankiness and bloating. A less common PMD is premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), which can severely impact a woman’s life through psychological, gastrointestinal, skin, and neurological problems.

Previous research has linked PMDs during the reproductive years and post-menopausal issues like hot flashes and night sweats to increased risks of health problems like high blood pressure, heart conditions, and diabetes.

“It is important to identify women at risk for early menopause because of its link with poorer heart, brain and bone health,” Stephanie Faubion, MD, MBA, a doctor at the Mayo Clinic and medical director of the North American Menopause Society, told CNN. Faubion was not involved in the study.

That said, it's important to note that the study was observational – meaning researchers can't say for certain PMDs will cause early menopause. Rather, the study shows there may be a correlation between the two, Donghao Lu, MD, an associate professor in the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Karolinska Institute, told CNN.