Premature menopause among women in India: Evidence from National Family Health Survey-IV

J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2021 Dec;47(12):4426-4439. doi: 10.1111/jog.15041. Epub 2021 Sep 27.


Aim: Women who experience premature menopause either due to biological or induced reasons have a longer duration of exposure to severe symptoms and adverse health consequences when compared to those who undergo menopause at later age. Despite the fact that premature menopause has a profound effect on the health of women, there has been limited study on this issue. Therefore, this study attempted to determine the prevalence and factors associated with premature menopause among 302 557 women aged 25-39 years in India.

Methods: This study utilized secondary data from the fourth round of the National Family Health Survey-IV (NFHS-4), conducted during 2015-2016 in India. Descriptive statistics and multinomial logistic regression were used for statistical analyses of the data.

Results: The results revealed that the prevalence of premature menopause in this sample of Indian women was 3.7%, out of which 2.1% of women had experienced natural premature menopause, whereas 1.7% had surgical premature menopause. The prevalence of premature menopause was highest in the southern region of India. Factors like age, education, wealth index, place of residence, smoking status, children ever born, age at first birth, use of hormonal contraception, sterilization, and body mass index were found to be associated with premature menopause in India.

Conclusion: A sizeable proportion of women in India are attaining menopause prematurely. Furthermore, the percentage and likelihood of experiencing premature menopause are relatively high among rural women, women with higher parity, early age at childbearing, and women who smoke.

Keywords: India; natural; premature menopause; surgical; women.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Menopause
  • Menopause, Premature*
  • Parity
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence