Women in the U.S. may have more reproductive years and a later age of menopause than 40 years ago.
That’s according to a new study out of Temple University, University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University.
Menopause, the age when women stop having menstrual periods may be occurring on average a year and a half later than before, now at an average age of 49.9.
And the average age of the first period also decreased slightly.
These changes mean that women’s reproductive years, the time when women could become pregnant, increased to 37.1 years from 35.
But, after age 35, there are still risks for pregnancy like miscarriage and certain birth defects.
Later ages of menopause may decrease women’s Risk of heart disease but may also increase the risk of some hormone-related cancers like breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancer.
It’s always a good idea to talk to your health care provider or OB-GYN to learn more about any risks you may have if you are to become pregnant.