Scientific article
Publication Date
Published by / Citation
Bae, Jinju, Susan Park, and Jin-Won Kwon. “Factors Associated with Menstrual Cycle Irregularity and Menopause.” BMC Women’s Health 18 (2018): 36. PMC. Web. 11 Apr. 2018.
Original Language


South Korea
smoking prevention
smoking cessation
smoking harms
health behaviour interventions
women's health
health promotion

Smoking Linked to Irregular Menstruation and Early Menopause

A study exploring the factors leading to menstrual cycle irregularity and menopause has discovered smoking may contribute to irregular menstrual cycles. The research, carried out in Korea, also found an association with the early initiation of smoking and early menopause.

The research utilised data from the 2007–2014 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) to include the analysis of more than 11,000 people who were categorised as current smokers, ex-smokers and non-smokers. The research team also explored exposure to second-hand smoke in the home and workplace.

Previous studies have linked smoking with hypoestrogenism which is the instance of low levels of oestrogen. This paper builds on that understanding and highlights that irregular menstruation can present fertility difficulties and can also result in an early onset of the menopause. Early menopause increases the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. The hormonal issues signified by an irregular cycle may be linked to chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes. Smoking was just one factor linked to cycle irregularity, the paper also highlights stress and obesity.

The study will be useful for those planning health behaviour interventions with people who menstruate and emphasises a link between health behaviour choices, menstrual cycles and menopause.

The research is available in English via the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health as an open access paper.

The study was funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea.

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