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Can You Get Pregnant During Menopause

What Are The Risks

How Can You Get Pregnant After the Menopause? | This Morning

According to the CDC, the number of first-time births among women ages 40 to 44 more than doubled between 1990 and 2012, and is still rising. The vast majority of women in this age group go on to experience completely normal and healthy pregnancies and births. However, older moms-to-be are also at higher risk for certain complications in pregnancy. These include:;

  • high blood pressure and the related pregnancy complication preeclampsia
  • gestational diabetes
  • birth defects, such as Down syndrome
  • miscarriage
  • low birth weight

If you do plan to get pregnant when you are in your 40s, its a good idea to have a fertility check up with your healthcare provider and start taking a prenatal multivitamin before trying to conceive.

Menopause Reversal Restores Periods And Produces Fertile Eggs

Women who have already passed through the menopause may be able to have children following a blood treatment usually used to heal wounds

Never too old?

Peter Dazeley/Getty

MENOPAUSE need not be the end of fertility. A team claims to have found a way to rejuvenate post-menopausal ovaries, enabling them to release fertile eggs, New Scientist can reveal.

The team says its technique has restarted periods in menopausal women, including one who had not menstruated in five years. If the results hold up to wider scrutiny, the technique may boost declining fertility in older women, allow women with early menopause to get pregnant, and help stave off the detrimental health effects of menopause.

It offers a window of hope that menopausal women will be able to get pregnant using their own genetic material, says Konstantinos Sfakianoudis, a gynaecologist at the Greek fertility clinic Genesis Athens.

It is potentially quite exciting, says Roger Sturmey at Hull York Medical School in the UK. But it also opens up ethical questions over what the upper age limit of mothers should be.

The age of motherhood is creeping up, and more women are having children in their 40s than ever before. But as more women delay pregnancy, many find themselves struggling to get pregnant. Women who hope to conceive later in life are increasingly turning to IVF and egg freezing, but neither are a reliable back-up option .

Detecting The Menopause Baby

As you go through the cycle of menopause, it’s important to keep up to date with regular gynecological checkups. These checkups will help you treat any symptoms as well as allow for the doctor to possibly detect a pregnancy before it is too late to begin prenatal care.

It’s also important to keep track of all your menstrual cycles well into menopause and take note of any changes occurring in the body. There are clear signs when pregnancy begins that will not be synonymous with menopause. These symptoms may include the total cessation of periods, an unexplained increased in weight, and swelling of the extremities.

Read Also: What Is The Male Version Of Menopause

You Can Still Get Pregnant In Perimenopausei Did

    My husband, Aaron, and I had been trying for baby number two for over a year. After one intrauterine insemination , two unsuccessful rounds of IVF, countless hormones and endless stress and tears, we decided to defrost my frozen eggs. Six years prior, single after a series of bad breakups, I was certain I wanted to be a mom but uncertain Id find a partner. So I made an impulse purchase and signed up with a fertility clinic to freeze my eggs.

    Our son turned out to be fairly easy to conceive. At 37, after one miscarriage and five months of trying, I became pregnant. When we decided to have a second child when I was 39, I thought conceiving this time around would be just as certain. It wasnt.

    On Mothers Day, the day before my 40th birthday, we learned that our first round of IVF didnt work. My body and mind were exhausted. Balancing fertility drugs and treatments, caring for our toddler and recovering from three additional miscarriages in 10 months, I felt as though I were playing one of those carnival gamesI bopped one miscarriage over the head, only for another pregnancy loss or failed fertility treatment to pop up, leaving us no closer to a baby.

    How was this happening to me? There were six sets of twins and a set of natural triplets in my fertile Midwest Jewish family. The running joke was that my mom looked at my dad to become pregnant. My body is failing our family, I told Aaron. Women much older than me are popping out babies everyday.

    My FSH measured at 25.4.

    Menopause And Pregnancy Share Similar Symptoms

    Woman in menopause get pregnant by IVF

    Perimenopause symptoms can last up to ten years for some women, and many of them are similar to pregnancy symptoms. Its important to listen to your body and pay attention to any changes. Here are just a few examples of the symptoms that perimenopause and pregnancy share:2, 3

    • Hot flashes and night sweats
    • A missed period
    • Changes in feelings about sex
    • General fatigue or trouble sleeping
    • Mood swings
    • Weight gain

    You can always take an at-home pregnancy test and its highly unlikely youll get a fake positive, even though hormones can fluctuate a lot during perimenopause. If youre still curious about whats causing your symptomsgo to the doctor and get your hormones checked. You may not be pregnant, however, there may be other health conditions that are influencing your hormones and therefore your symptoms.

    Don’t Miss: Are Heavy Periods A Sign Of Menopause

    What Are The Chances Of Getting Pregnant During Perimenopause

    Data from the National Center for Health Statistics show that in 2017, there were 840 babies born to women of 50 years of age and above. Additionally, the study also found that females aged 45 and above had a birth rate of 0.9 per 1,000 females. Thus, while the figures are small, they prove that there is a 2% chance for a woman to get pregnant during perimenopause. However, the risk of miscarriage is higher for women above the age of 45. According to ScienceDaily, women above the age of 45 have a 53% risk of miscarriage, as well as the risk of certain genetic irregularities.

    Nonetheless, a woman experiencing perimenopause can prime herself for pregnancy by practicing healthy habits including eating healthy, working out regularly, and cutting out alcohol and smoking. However, if a woman does not wish to get pregnant during perimenopause, she can continue using birth control medication until she reaches menopause.

    Or You Might Find That Youre Not As Interested In Sex And Be Totally Fine With That

    A lot of my patients who are many years past menopause report that their lives have changed in that way: The emphasis on and impact of sexual intercourse arent what they were before, says Pizarro. When talking through potential treatment options, many of his patients decide its not a big enough deal for them to pursue a medical solution to lowered libido. Its just not something that concerns them. Their life has transitioned to a point where theyre more focused on spending time with their partner or traveling, he explains.

    Read Also: Do You Get Sore Breasts With Menopause

    When Should Women Not Take Birth Control Pills For Perimenopause

    While hormonal birth control can be extremely beneficial, it can increase the risk of blood clots in some individuals with a uterus. More specifically, it is recommended that those with a history of blood disorders, heart disease, and/or cancer stop taking hormonal contraceptives as they enter their late forties. This also applies to individuals who smoke.

    Instead of using high-dose hormonal birth control to alleviate the symptoms of perimenopause, individuals with a uterus can try hormone therapies or low-dose birth control pills. With that said, there are pros and cons to these methods, so individuals should consult a doctor in order to determine the best path for their lifestyle.

    Anthea Nicholas Gives Birth At 50

    Can one get pregnant if experiencing menopause in early 30s? – Dr. Shailaja N

    Another woman into her 50s has given birth- and naturally too- this time from Australia! Anthea Nicholas, a semi-retired real estate agent, is apparently the oldest woman in Australia to have given birth. Her pregnancy was natural, and it was her very first pregnancy too!

    The baby was called a miracle; the medical staff said that Anthea had a one in several million chances of conceiving without the IVF, and her miscarriage chances are as high as 70%. But Anthea beat those odds. Last year the doctor told me I was going into menopause and now I’ve got a baby in my arms, she told the interviewers. In fact, it must have really come as a wonderful surprise for her, because she threw in the towel for motherhood as early as 35 years old. She focused on her career instead. It seems like the universe can really throw little blessings at the most unexpected times.

    Read Also: How To Reduce Night Sweats During Menopause

    Do I Need To Keep Having Cervical Cancer Screening Tests After Menopause

    Its important for women whove ever had sex to continue having regular cervical cancer screening tests after menopause, especially since the risk of cervical cancer increases with age.

    Pap smears have been replaced by cervical cancer screening with human papillomavirus tests. These new tests are generally recommended once every 5 years until the age of 74 years.

    /5would It Be A Healthy Pregnancy

    WOULD IT BE A HEALTHY PREGNANCY? Of course, it wouldnt be a healthy pregnancy. Your growing age might create certain complications for the foetus as well as for your own health. Conceiving during menopausal phase is difficult and is also rarely observed as the eggs your body releases can be old. This is not good for a healthy pregnancy.

    Also Check: Does Menopause Make You Feel Crazy

    Is Pregnancy After Menopause Possible

    During the peri-menopausal phase, the ovaries produce and release the last few mature eggs for fertilisation. The presence of a sperm completes the fertilisation and formation of an embryo, inducing pregnancy. The complete absence of menses for a period of one-year marks menopause. Once menopause has been attained, the level of female hormones, especially oestrogen and progesterone are unfavourably low for a woman to conceive, hence making pregnancy almost impossible.

    Are There Any Treatments For Menopausal Symptoms

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    There are many treatments available to help relieve troublesome symptoms associated with menopause. Sometimes, it can take a bit of trial and error before finding the treatment that works best for you every woman is different and experiences her own range of symptoms, so a treatment that works for one woman may not work for another. Talk to your doctor, who can recommend the best treatment options for you.

    Recommended Reading: How Much Weight Gain In Menopause

    Its Best Not To Ignore Any Changes That Cause You Distress

    You may cringe at the thought of talking to your gynecologist about sex. But rest assured, there is no reason to feel awkward. If you’re dealing with these changes and are very much unhappy with them, talk to your doctor. Right now, this may be a conversation that needs to take place via telehealth due to the pandemic. If you feel dismissed, then Dr. Rowen encourages you to consider switching to another provider if at all possible. Go find someone who will listen to you and take your problems seriously, Dr. Rowen says. Together, you can come up with a treatment plan that may help you have a more fulfilling sex life, even after menopause.

    All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.


    Giovanni Ciardi Gives Birth At 54

    Giovanni Ciardi has shocked and amazed doctors for falling pregnant at the age of 54. Mrs. Ciardi is a hospital worker, her partner Bruno Paoli a shipyard worker, and together they live quietly and relatively uneventfully in their home in Camaiore. Until the surprise pregnancy of course. Giovanni already had one daughter, a 23-year-old, from her previous marriage, and surely she didnt think that at her age, shed give birth to another one.

    She missed her period, and the first thing that came to mind was menopause. But nausea and an upset tummy bothered her too, so she went to get a check-up. The doctor smiled at her and announced that she was pregnant; Giovanni even bought pregnancy tests to be sure, as they were both caught off guard! Giovanni Cima, the head of the gynecology and obstetrics department, had this to say about cases like Giovanni Ciardis: A natural pregnancy at the age of 54 is absolutely exceptional.

    Also Check: What Causes Endometrial Thickening After Menopause

    Woman Gets Pregnant At 48

    Lets get a few things clear first: what is FSH? What does it mean if its too high? Well, FSH stands for follicle stimulation hormones, and is responsible for the growth of ovarian particles. If it is too high, it means that the woman is beginning menopause. And thats what it looked like for this 48-year-old woman who commented on the Steady Health message board.

    She described her too-high levels of FSH, for which her doctors told her that she would not be able to conceive. Hearing this, she gave up on the hope of getting pregnant, even going so far as to pray to God that he would help her let go of that desire. I guess the higher being planned something else for her because sometime after she thought she had the flu and was a week late with her period;when Voila! she was pregnant!

    Symptoms Associated With Menopause

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    Menopause brings a wide variety of symptoms with it. Thats because your hormones affect every aspect of your body. Every woman experiences menopause differently. Some have some mild changes that dont cause much of an issue in daily life. Other women suffer significant symptoms that can be quite disruptive.

    Some of the most commonly experienced symptoms include hot flashes , night sweats, difficulty sleeping, mood swings, and frequent urination. These are just some of the changes you may begin to experience when perimenopause begins and you transition into menopause.

    Recommended Reading: How To Get Pregnant After Menopause

    Chances Of Conceiving Naturally As You Age

    While stories about women giving birth in their 50s, 60s, and even 70s make for good headlines, these pregnancies are usually accomplished with donor eggs and in vitro fertilization . There is no set oldest age when you can get pregnant naturally, but fertility starts to decline as you age. You’re usually not able to get pregnant between 5 and 10 years before menopause.;

    You’re born with all of the eggs you’ll ever have. As you get older, the number of eggs you have decreases. They are also more likely to have abnormalities. Additionally, the older you are, the more likely you are to develop disorders that can make you less likely to get pregnant, such as endometriosis. By the age of 45, you’re not likely to get pregnant naturally.;

    After one year of trying, your chances of getting pregnant by age are:;

    • 85% if you’re under 30
    • 75% at 30
    • 44% at 40

    Perimenopause And Your Fertility: The Facts

    Then, there is the additional risk of being pregnant at an older age to take into account. Being older may mean that youve accrued medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, fibroids or cervical disease, that could render any pregnancy more complicated. Risks such as pre eclampsia, preterm labour, placental problems and growth restriction of the baby can all be more common.

    However, looking after yourself and ensuring that your body is as capable as possible of supporting a healthy pregnancy, as well as producing the best possible quality of eggs, is really important, as both can improve the chance of conception, and lead to a healthier baby. There is no doubt that using donor eggs at this stage leads to the best chance of success of up to around 40%. However, for many women, this is not an easy decision and can be complicated if she already has biological children of her own.

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    What Are The Hormonal Changes During Menopause

    The traditional changes we think of as “menopause” happen when the ovaries no longer produce high levels of hormones. The ovaries are the reproductive glands that store eggs and release them into the fallopian tubes. They also produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone as well as testosterone. Together, estrogen and progesterone control menstruation. Estrogen also influences how the body uses calcium and maintains cholesterol levels in the blood.

    As menopause nears, the ovaries no longer release eggs into the fallopian tubes, and youll have your last menstrual cycle.

    Keep At Bay Excess Pounds

    Menopause And Pregnancy

    Maintaining a healthy weight is a good idea if you want to get pregnant despite of being in the menopausal stage. Thats because excess fat in the body can actually accelerate the reduction of estrogen. One way to drop excess pounds is by regularly exercising, although you should avoid doing it excessively as it can actually make conceiving harder.

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    There Are Some Steps You Can Take To Ease The Pregnancy Journey Before Perimenopause

    If you or someone you know is interested in trying to get pregnant later in life but before reaching perimenopause, there are some general guidelines that could help ease the transition. ;

    • Make an appointment before you conceive. Meet with your health care practitioner to discuss your overall health. They might have some suggestions for lifestyle changes that could have a positive effect on improving your chances of a healthy pregnancy.1
    • Explore prenatal testing options. There are DNA screenings available to see if your developing baby is at risk. Talk to your doctor about these options.
    • Avoid alcohol and tobacco. These substances are definitely off-limits during pregnancy, but given their stress on the body in general, it cant hurt to limit your exposure to them while trying to get pregnant as well.


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