(3TV/CBS 5) -- Menopause, also known as "the change," typically starts in a woman's late 40s or early 50s.

At least that used to be the case.

However, now, a lot of women aren't "changing" until their late 50s, or even their early 60s.

[SECTION: CBS 5 This Morning]

Doctor Ernesto Gomez in Mesa says this is a trend he is definitely seeing more of in his office.

"Of the patients I have between the ages of 55 and 59 who are menstruating regularly, and by the blood tests we're evaluating, have normal lab values, they are not menopausal. They aren't even perimenopausal," he said.

He explained there's still a lot of research being done to explain why this is happening, but some of the things experts are worried about are also things easy to fix.

"We think that it's possibly nutrition, but also the zeno estrogen in plastics that we all have because our life has changed," he said. "Our life is about comfort, so we're heating things in plastic containers, we have plastic bottles, we don't do glassware and everything we eat maybe isn't as organic as we'd like it to be. So all of those things have an implication, but we don't know how deep that implication is."

So, should you worry about this if you are reaching the typical age and haven't gone into menopause yet?

Gomez said yes and no.

He said research shows a slight increase of female cancers because there's still so much estrogen circulating.

But you also decrease your risk of heart disease and stroke and late onset menopause is linked to a longer life.

He said to be sure your doctor is doing blood tests because for many women, if you're still menstruating, you can still get pregnant.

Heidi Goitia is the traffic reporter and fill-in anchor for CBS 5 This Morning weekdays from 4:30-7am.

Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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