Thought you had a while to worry about menopause? Think again.

A new study has uncovered some surprising new findings.

If you thought you had a while before you had to start worrying about menopause, you have less time than you may have thought.

A study by health firm Balance Activ that was released on Saturday, found that women can be expected to begin experiencing symptoms of menopause at the age of 46.

It was previously thought that women ceased getting their period at approximately 50 years of age. But the study, which involved 2,000 women, appears to have proven otherwise.

You won't believe the average age women go through menopause.

Psychotherapist Lucy Beresford explained, “Anecdotally we hear that menopause is beginning to start earlier, in the same way as puberty is starting younger.”

The London Imperial College conducted a study three years ago, which suggested 6% of women have early menopause, which is known as “premature ovarian failture” (POF).

According to nutritionist Dr Marilyn Glenville, reasons for this may be due to changes in lifestyle. “As we become more of a stress-driven, sedentary society with girls exercising less and drinking more we may be looking at an epidemic of POF in years to come,” she said.

In conjunction to this finding, the study also found women are 45% less likely to have sex after going through menopause.

What did you expect the average age for the onset of menopause to be?

SCROLL THROUGH the gallery for common symptoms of menopause...

For a full list of symptoms visit the Australian Menopause Centre website.

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