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Can You Get Pregnant Going Through Menopause

Got Pregnant A Year After Her Perimenopause Started

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

In the message boards of the Baby Center website, a woman with the username midnightjo asked if any of the women there had already gotten successfully pregnant at the age of 40 or over. She herself wanted to try conceiving even if she was already perimenopausal.

And the message board comments were a mixture of returned questions, confusion about what state they were in , and the like. But a certain womans account stood out. Bubbysweets recounted the story of how she was perimenopausal for a year before she conceived her youngest baby! Isnt that amazing? Shortly after, she turned 45 years old – quite happily, no doubt. She explained how she was taking maca root for her hot flashes, claiming to not know whether it helped with fertility, but it did manage her perimenopause symptoms.

World’s Oldest Natural Mother

A woman at 59 years old , pregnant! Can you believe it? And it happened all on its own without the use of fertility drugs or treatments. Dawn Brooke gave birth without any help at all to conceive. Au natural!

Dawn and her husband, Raymond , said they actually hid such fact from public eyes until about 10 years later. And such a lovely thing too, that the boy was born three months after the couple married. Nick, Dawns son from her previous marriage, was happy for the couple, saying, When they told us we all gave Ray a round of applause. My mum and my stepdad make a fantastic couple. Raymond himself said that they had extreme good luck for their age and that the boy was simply fantastic.” Kudos to the happy couple!

Wait Whats Perimenopause Again

You may be a little hazy on what perimenopause actually is, and thats understandable. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists , perimenopause is the time leading up to menopause. Its the time period during which a womans menstrual cycle begins to change and her ovaries begin to get smaller and produce less estrogen.

Perimenopause typically begins when a woman is in her 40s, although it is possible to start perimenopause before you turn 40. However, as the changes tend to unfold over time, some women dont even realize when theyve entered perimenopause. And the experience can vary from woman to woman anyway.

Related: Why Cant I Get Pregnant? Signs of Infertility and What to Do About It.

You might look for signs such as irregularity of your menstrual cycle. According to Dr. Stephanie Faubion, MD, MBA, medical director of the North American Menopause Society , your periods might get a little closer together or further apart.

Your ovarian function is not 100%, so there might be a couple of months in a row where they dont function well at all, she explains. And then they might kick back in again. The closer you get to menopause, the more extreme that gets.

Perimenopause lasts, on average about four years, says Dr. Amy Banulis, MD, an OBGYN with the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group at the Kaiser Permanente Falls Church Medical Center in Virginia. But for some women, it can last as long as 10 years.

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What Is Perimenopause Or The Transition To Menopause

Perimenopause , or the menopausal transition, is the time leading up to your last period. Perimenopause means around menopause.

Perimenopause is a long transition to menopause, or the time when your periods stop permanently and you can no longer get pregnant. As your body transitions to menopause, your hormone levels may change randomly, causing menopause symptoms unexpectedly. During this transition, your ovaries make different amounts of the hormones estrogen and progesterone than usual.

Irregular periods happen during this time because you may not ovulate every month. Your periods may be longer or shorter than usual. You might skip a few months or have unusually long or short menstrual cycles. Your period may be heavier or lighter than before. Many women also have hot flashes and other menopause symptoms during this transition.

Becoming Pregnant When Entering The Peri

You Can Still Get Pregnant in PerimenopauseI Did

Despite the higher risks, many women seek to become pregnant when entering the peri-menopause and are physically able to deliver happy and healthy babies.

Once your periods have become irregular, it can be difficult to predict when an egg is being released this is the time you are most likely to become pregnant. Measures such as IVF now mean that older women are more likely to be able to become pregnant if this is what they choose.

With the advancement of medical science, it is now even possible for women to become pregnant after the menopause. Although the risks attached to having a baby at this stage are much higher, the uterus is still fully capable of carrying out a pregnancy.

Today, many women are putting off having babies until later in life because of career goals, meaning that older mothers are becoming more commonplace. However, there is still controversy over older women having babies, particularly post-menopausal women, not only because of the associated risks of the pregnancy but also because many feel it is unfair for the child, when the mother may not be able to perform the necessary duties as the child grows up, or leaves home.

Whatever your decision regarding pregnancy, it may be worth speaking to your doctor, as he will be able to give you advice on the prevention of pregnancy during the peri-menopause or provide help on how to conceive in the safest way for you and your child.

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What Are The Pregnancy Risks During Perimenopause

The possible hazards are many for both mother and baby. Miscarriage increases among older mothers because of lower-quality eggs, variable hormones, and uterine changes. Poor egg quality also ups the chances for birth defects such as Down syndrome, which is caused by an error in cell division which produces an extra chromosome.

Other risks to the baby include premature birth , which is linked to a host of complications ranging from cerebral palsy to learning and developmental disabilities.

The rigors of pregnancy are also harder on older mothers, who suffer more than their younger counterparts from complications such as high blood pressure, strokes, seizures, gestational diabetes, and heart problems.

What Medications Are Used To Treat Postmenopausal Symptoms

Hormone therapy could be an option, although healthcare providers often recommend using it for a short amount of time and in people under the age of 60. There are health risks associated with hormone therapy like blood clots and stroke. Some healthcare providers do not recommend using hormone therapy after menopause has ended or if you have certain medical conditions.

Some medications your healthcare provider may consider helping with postmenopausal symptoms are:

  • Antidepressants for mood swings or depression.
  • Vaginal creams for pain related to sexual intercourse and vaginal dryness.
  • Gabapentin to relieve hot flashes.

Oftentimes your provider will recommend lifestyle changes to help manage your symptoms.

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Can You Get Pregnant During The Menopause

Yes, you can get pregnant while going through the menopause. This might happen in the years leading up to your periods stopping, or even after your periods have stopped completely.

During the menopause your oestrogen levels fall and your ovaries wind down egg production. Your periods are likely to become erratic in the years leading up to the menopause years they might also become heavier or lighter. This makes conception far less likely, but not impossible.

In short, if youre going through the menopause, dont assume youre protected from pregnancy, even if your periods are irregular or youve missed several in a row.

How Is Premature Menopause And Primary Ovarian Insufficiency Treated

Can Periods Restart After Menopause?

Management of the condition can vary depending on why menopause started earlier than normal. Given the health risks associated with early menopause, hormone replacement therapy is routinely recommended to all women with premature menopause or primary ovarian insufficiency, unless there is a compelling reason it cant be used. There is a lot of confusion about the safety of hormone therapies. Many of the risks of hormone therapy used after natural menopause are not thought to apply to women who have premature menopause. It is important to discuss the pros and cons of hormone therapy with your doctor. Some healthcare providers have additional certification in the management of menopause, and these providers will be a valuable resource when receiving conflicting information about the safety of hormone therapy.

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How Will Menopause Affect Me

Symptoms of menopause may begin suddenly and be very noticeable, or they may be very mild at first. Symptoms may happen most of the time once they begin, or they may happen only once in a while. Some women notice changes in many areas. Some menopausal symptoms, such as moodiness, are similar to symptoms of premenstrual syndrome . Others may be new to you. For example:

  • Your menstrual periods may not come as regularly as before. They also might last longer or be shorter. You might skip some months. Periods might stop for a few months and then start up again.
  • Your periods might be heavier or lighter than before.
  • You might have hot flashes and problems sleeping.
  • You might experience mood swings or be irritable.
  • You might experience vaginal dryness. Sex may be uncomfortable or painful.
  • You may have less interest in sex. It may take longer for you to get aroused.

Other possible changes are not as noticeable. For example, you might begin to lose bone density because you have less estrogen. This can lead to osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become weak and break easily. Changing estrogen levels can also raise cholesterol levels and increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.

Talk to your doctor about possible for your menopause symptoms if they bother you.

Predicting Natural Menopause: Why Does Age Matter

If theres not a lot that women can do to change when theyll experience menopause, why does predicting it even matter?

It would be helpful for every woman to know exactly when menopause will arrive. Beyond recognizing and addressing issues such as increased cardiovascular disease risk and risks related to bone health, if a woman knows her age of menopause and how long the perimenopause transition will last, it could help her make important health decisions, says Faubion.

If youre bleeding like crazy it would be helpful to know, she says.

As of now, research hasnt uncovered a way to determine when a women will go into menopause, but having that information could be useful in making decisions such as whether to have a hysterectomy or other invasive procedures, says Faubion. If menopause is going to be a few months or a year from now, you may choose to wait it out if its going to be five years from now, you might want to go ahead and have an invasive procedure, she says.

The ability to predict when menopause will occur could also help with managing menopause symptoms or deciding which type of birth control to use, adds Faubion.

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Chronic Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary incontinence isnt the only type of bladder issue that can affect women in perimenopause they may also experience urinary tract infections . With a UTI, you may feel the need to urinate much more frequently, and when you do, the urine may be dark or bloody and cause you to feel pain or a burning sensation.

But why do they occur with perimenopause? As with the other signs mentioned on this list, hormone changes are the culprit. These changes can cause vaginal bacteria to change as well along with the tissue thinning or becoming atrophic, which increases your risk of not only getting a bladder infection but also experiencing them on a chronic basis.

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What Are My Options For Becoming Pregnant After Early Menopause

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If youve had an early menopause and still want to have children, there are several options that you may be able to try. Fertility treatment is only available on the NHS up to age 40, so its likely youll need to pay for it privately. You may want to book an appointment at a fertility clinic to talk through the possibilities. Youll be able to find an accredited clinic on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority website.

Some of the options may include the following.

  • In-vitro fertilisation , using stored or donor eggs, or donor embryos. In IVF, eggs and sperm are mixed in a laboratory, before any resulting embryos are transferred into your womb. You might have stored eggs in advance if your menopause is due to something like cancer treatment. Otherwise, youll need eggs or embryos from a donor. Clinics usually have a list of registered donors, or you may be able to find your own. Your doctor at the fertility clinic can talk you through how this works.
  • Surrogacy. This is when another woman carries and gives birth to a baby for you. It may be that the surrogates own egg is fertilised with sperm from the father. Or it could be that either donor eggs and/or donor sperm are used. Fertility clinics in the UK arent allowed to offer services to find surrogates, but they can provide the necessary treatment involved.

You may also want to explore adoption as a potential option for having children.

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Menopause Symptoms: Age 50

Most women will have their last period around the age of 50. Twelve months without a period later, menopause is reached and post-menopause begins.

As menopause gets closer, your estrogen and progesterone levels start to decline more rapidly. As a result, your symptoms will likely become more intense.

Your periods will probably become more irregular. You may experience greater mood swings. And you might experience an increase in insomnia. Plus, youll likely start experiencing new symptoms that are common right around or right after reaching menopause, including:

Hot flashes and chills

Hot flashes can happen during pre-menopause, but theyre most often reported right around menopause and in the first few years of post-menopause. These are sensations of heat that develop around your face, neck and chest, and may spread to other areas of your body. They usually last for just a few minutes.

Alongside the feeling of heat, your skin may redden, you may sweat, your heart rate might increase and your mood may change. Afterward, you may feel chills.

Doctors arent sure why hot flashes happen but there are ways to lessen their impact. Some tips include:

  • Try to stay in cooler environments
  • Dress lightly or wear layers you can remove
  • Manage stress

What Happens After Menopause

After menopause you will no longer be able to get pregnant and you will no longer get a period. If you have any type of vaginal bleeding after menopause, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Vaginal bleeding after menopause is not normal and can mean that you have a serious health problem.

You may experience any of the following after menopause:

  • Low hormone levels. With menopause, your ovaries make very little of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Because of changing hormone levels, you may develop , including osteoporosis, .
  • Menopause symptoms instead of period problems. After menopause, most women get relief from or menopause . However, you may still experience symptoms such as hot flashes because of changing estrogen levels. One recent study found that hot flashes can continue for up to 14 years after menopause.,
  • Vaginal dryness. Vaginal dryness may be more common post-menopause. Learn more about for vaginal dryness.

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Itisdefinitely True That Sex After Menopause Can Be Painful At Least For Some Time

The most prominent change I hear about from my patients is that sometimes sex can become painful after menopause, board-certified ob/gyn Antonio Pizarro, M.D., tells SELF. Most of the time, this is related to a loss of estrogen. That can cause what’s known as vaginal atrophy or genitourinary syndrome of menopause, in which the vaginal tissue becomes thinner and more delicate, Dr. Pizarro explains. Issues like pain, vaginal dryness, and urinary problems can crop up as a result of vaginal atrophy. Around half of postmenopausal people experience these symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Doctors mainly treat vaginal atrophy with some form of estrogen supplementation, but there can be drawbacks. Pizarro notes that theres a small risk the amped up estrogen can contribute to uterine cancer unless a woman pairs it with the synthetic hormone progestin. But combining the two may then increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer, according to The American Cancer Society, which has a comprehensive breakdown of the benefits and drawbacks of using hormones to deal with menopause symptoms.

What Are The Risks

I Had a Baby at 47 After Going Through 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.

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