Are Menopause Symptoms Hereditary?

Are Menopause Symptoms Hereditary?

As you edge closer to menopause and start to notice physical or emotional changes, there's a common question that often springs to mind: Are menopause symptoms hereditary?

People love to compare facial features and spot similarities between family members, such as hair colour, height, and mannerisms. But what about menopause? If your mother experienced early menopause, does that mean you will too? 

Understanding the genetic link

Genes serve as the intricate blueprint for your body. Comprising coiled proteins in spiral form, genes hold the codes for everything your body needs to function. You inherit half of your genes from each parent, forming the foundation for your physical and biological characteristics.

Every aspect of your body, from eyes to muscles, exists because of these genetic codes, and they also play an important role in your health—some genes can put you at a higher risk for certain conditions, while others reduce that risk and protect you from poor health. While some health conditions are caused by a single gene, the majority are polygenic—influenced by a combination of genes. Menopause is one of these cases where different genes work together to shape your experience.

Will I go through menopause at the same age as my mother?

Your genes play a significant role in determining your age at menopause. If your mother, sister, or grandmother experienced an early or late onset of menopause, there's a likelihood that you might follow a similar pattern. Studies also suggest a connection between the intensity and variety of menopausal symptoms and the symptom experiences of mothers and grandmothers. For example, if your mother had severe hot flushes or mood swings during menopause, there's a likelihood you may too. Likewise, if your mother had milder symptoms, you might follow a similar pattern.

Genetic influence on menopause timing

As certain genes inherited from both parents can influence your menopausal experience, it's essential to explore both your maternal and paternal sides to gain a clearer understanding of what your transition may look like. However, there's no guarantee that your menopausal journey will mirror theirs, but it may give you some clues as to what you might expect.

  • The average age for menopause in most of the Western world is around 51, but genetic predispositions can influence this timing. 
  • Women with specific gene combinations are more likely to undergo early menopause.
  • Studies also show that black, indigenous, and other women of colour are more likely to experience an earlier menopause with longer-lasting symptoms. 

Genetic conditions linked to menopause

Certain genetic conditions, such as X-autosomal translocations, Turner syndrome, and Fragile X syndrome, are associated with premature or early menopause. Additionally, autoimmune conditions (many of which can be partly genetic), such as rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid disease, can indirectly contribute to the timing of menopause.

Having Type 2 diabetes can increase the risk of experiencing premature menopause by up to 300%. While factors like obesity can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes, genetics can also play a role.

Factors beyond genetics

Genetics undoubtedly play a significant role in shaping your menopause, but it is equally important to acknowledge the importance of lifestyle choices, overall health, environment, and psychological well-being. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, managing body weight, and adopting positive habits can all influence the timing and experience you will have.

1. Smoking

If you smoke, now is a great time to seek help quitting if needed. Numerous studies have shown smoking to have a direct impact on menopause, hastening its onset and leading to earlier menopause than in non-smokers. In addition, smokers are more likely to experience more intense and frequent menopausal symptoms, including hot flushes and mood swings.

2. The right diet 

Eating a well-balanced diet with nutrient-rich foods provides essential vitamins and minerals needed to support your health during this transition. Try incorporating soy, flax seeds, chickpeas, nuts, and berries - all foods that contain phytoestrogens, natural plant molecules that closely resemble and mimic the actions of estrogen in the body and can contribute to reducing the intensity and frequency of various symptoms, including hot flushes.

3. Exercice

Regular exercise can play an important role in managing symptoms. It not only helps alleviate some symptoms but also enhances mood, improves sleep quality, and provides an overall sense of health and well-being.

4. Alcohol 

While it might not be immediately obvious, alcohol consumption can significantly impact your experience of menopause. For some women, it can become a trigger for their symptoms and also exacerbate feelings of anxiety and irritability, as well as disrupt sleep cycles.



Discover our range of evidence-based supplements, developed with mind and body nutrients to address the most common symptoms and support your body and your needs before, during, and after this transitionary life stage.


This article has been reviewed by our expert advisory team. 

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