Early Menopause Vs Typical Menopause: The Age Ranges
Menopause at 40 to 45 years of age is called early menopause, and that occurs in about 5 to 7 percent of the population, so its safe to say that at least 7 percent of women are going to go through menopause early or prematurely, says Faubion. Reaching menopause at age 46 or older is considered normal, she says.
What Are The Effects Of Early Or Premature Menopause
Women who go through menopause early may have or similar to those of regular menopause.
But some women with early or premature menopause may also have:
- Higher risk of serious health problems, such as and , since women will live longer without the health benefits of higher estrogen levels. Talk to your doctor or nurse about steps to lower your risk for these health problems.
- More severe menopause symptoms. Talk to your doctor or nurse about to help with symptoms if they affect your daily life.
- Sadness or over the early loss of fertility or the change in their bodies. Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of depression, including less energy or a lack of interest in things you once enjoyed that lasts longer than a few weeks. Your doctor or nurse can recommend specialists who can help you deal with your feelings. Your doctor or nurse can also discuss options, such as adoption or donor egg programs, if you want to have children.
Mood And Memory Effects
Menopause-related cognitive impairment can be confused with the mild cognitive impairment that precedes dementia. Tentative evidence has found that forgetfulness affects about half of menopausal women and is probably caused by the effects of declining estrogen levels on the brain, or perhaps by reduced blood flow to the brain during hot flashes.
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Exclusive: Menopausal Women Become Pregnant With Their Own Eggs
Two women thought to be infertile have become pregnant using a technique that seems to rejuvenate ovaries, New Scientist can reveal. It is the first time such a treatment has enabled menopausal women to get pregnant using their own eggs.
I had given up hope on trying to get pregnant, says one of the women, WS, who is now six months pregnant. To me, its a miracle.
The approach is based on the apparent healing properties of blood. Kostantinos Sfakianoudis and his colleagues at the Genesis Athens Clinic in Greece draw blood from their patients and spin it in a centrifuge to isolate platelet-rich plasma. This has a high concentration of the cell fragments usually involved in blood clotting, and is already used to speed the healing of sports injuries, although its effectiveness for this purpose is unclear.
The clinic is attempting to use this plasma to repair womens reproductive systems, injecting it directly into the ovaries and uterus. So far, the team has given this experimental treatment to more than 180 women, many of whom sought treatment because they have a disorder that damages the lining of the uterus.
But the team has also used the treatment in an effort to rejuvenate the organs of 27 menopausal and peri-menopausal women, between the ages of 34 and 51.
What If You Want To Get Pregnant After You’ve Hit Menopause
Okay, so let’s say you’ve already hit menopausemeaning you haven’t had a period in 12 months or morebut you would still like to get pregnant. Luckily, if that’s your choice, science is on your side through a process called in vitro fertilization .
According to the US National Library of Medicine;, IVF is essentially the joining of a woman’s egg with a man’s sperm, outside of the woman’s body . In women who are of childbearing age, there are five steps to IVF: stimulation, egg retrieval, insemination and fertilization, embryo culture, and embryo transfer. However, because women who have already gone through menopause are not producing eggs, they do not need to go through the first two steps, and will instead have to use eggs from a donor.;
From there, it’s like any other IVF pregnancy: Once a fertilized egg divides and become an embryo outside of the body, per the NLM, it’s placed inside the woman’s womb, where she can carry the embryo, then fetus, to term.;
The bottom line: If you havent yet reached menopause but are perimenopausal, you can definitely still get pregnant. But if youve already hit menopause when you decide you want to consider motherhood, its not necessarily too late” for that, either.;
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On Average Menopause Begins Around Age 52
Kathi Valeii is a freelance writer covering the intersections of health, parenting, and social justice.
Menopause occurs after a person stops having their period for 12 consecutive months. It naturally happens for many people when they are between the ages of 40 and 58. In the United States, the average age for menopause to start is 52 years.
Certain factors, like never having children and smoking, can make it more likely that menopause will occur earlier.
Before menopause, declining estrogen levels can cause people who menstruate to experience premenopausal symptoms. Menstrual changes, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep problems, and other symptoms are the result of hormonal shifts that are taking place during this time, which is called perimenopause.
Perimenopause can last from two to eight years. On average, people experience perimenopause for four years before menopause begins.
While many people go through menopause in their early fifties, there are a number of unique factors that determine at what age a person will start menopause, as well as what their experience will be like.
Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators
SERMs are a category of drugs, either synthetically produced or derived from a botanical source, that act selectively as agonists or antagonists on the estrogen receptors throughout the body. The most commonly prescribed SERMs are raloxifene and tamoxifen. Raloxifene exhibits oestrogen agonist activity on bone and lipids, and antagonist activity on breast and the endometrium. Tamoxifen is in widespread use for treatment of hormone sensitive breast cancer. Raloxifene prevents vertebral fractures in postmenopausal, osteoporotic women and reduces the risk of invasive breast cancer.
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Are There Any Positive Sexual Changes That Might Occur During This Time
You may find theres something of a bright side to this transition, too.
Increased confidence and self-awareness can help lower inhibitions, making it easier to communicate and connect with your partner.
Whats more, if youve raised children that have since left home, youre in a position to enjoy more privacy and leisurely intimate encounters, instead of having to rush through things when family members are out of the house or asleep.
Ovulation And The Menstrual Cycle
During their reproductive years, women have regular monthly menstrual periods because they ovulate regularly each month. Eggs mature inside of fluid-filled spheres called follicles. At the beginning of each menstrual cycle when a woman is having her period, a hormone produced in the pituitary gland, which is located in the brain, stimulates a group of follicles to grow more rapidly on both ovaries. The pituitary hormone that stimulates the ovaries is called follicle-stimulating hormone . Normally, only one of those follicles will reach maturity and release an egg ; the remainder gradually will stop growing and degenerate. Pregnancy results if the egg becomes fertilized and implants in the lining of the uterus . If pregnancy does not occur, the endometrium is shed as the menstrual flow and the cycle begins again. In their early teens, girls often have irregular ovulation resulting in irregular menstrual cycles, but by age 16 they should have established regular ovulation resulting in regular periods. A womans cycles will remain regular, 26 to 35 days, until her late 30s to early 40s when she may notice that her cycles become shorter. As time passes, she will begin to skip ovulation resulting in missed periods. Ultimately, periods become increasingly infrequent until they cease completely. When a woman has not had a menstrual period for 1 full year, she is said to be in menopause.
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You Cant Get Pregnant After Menopause
Once youve had a full year without your period the reproductive stage of life is overand so begins a whole new era of life free from periods and fear of pregnancy. If you still want to start a family, there are other options available like adoption. There are still plenty of children out there in need of love and attention, just waiting for someone like you to say hello.;
Were lucky to live in an era in which waiting to have children is not only an option but happening with increasing frequency. As long as youre aware of the risks, you can forge ahead down this new path freely empowered by the knowledge that some things may be more complicated, but at the end of this road you can still have the family youve always wanted.
Pregnancy Over Age 50
Pregnancy over the age of 50 has, over recent years, become possible for more women, and more easily achieved for many, due to recent advances in assisted reproductive technology, in particular egg donation. Typically, a woman’s fecundity ends with menopause, which, by definition, is 12 consecutive months without having had any menstrual flow at all. During perimenopause, the menstrual cycle and the periods become irregular and eventually stop altogether, but even when periods are still regular, the egg quality of women in their forties is lower than in younger women, making the likelihood of conceiving a healthy baby also reduced, particularly after age 42. The female biological clock can vary greatly from woman to woman. A woman’s individual level of fertility can be tested through a variety of methods.
In the United States, between 1997 and 1999, 539 births were reported among mothers over age 50 , with 194 being over 55.
The oldest recorded mother to date to conceive was 74 years, and the youngest mother was 5 years old. According to statistics from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, in the UK more than 20 babies are born to women over age 50 per year through in-vitro fertilization with the use of donor oocytes .
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Removal Of The Ovaries
If you have surgery to remove your ovaries , you will experience menopause immediately because the organs that produce hormones and release eggs are no longer present.
Menopause that occurs from the absence of ovaries is known as surgical menopause.;
Conditions like endometriosis, tumors, and cancer may require a person to have their ovaries removed.
People who have an oophorectomy will experience typical menopause symptoms; however, rather than having them come on gradually as they would with natural menopause, they will experience them all at once, which can be intense.
Hormone replacement therapies can be used to treat menopause symptoms. However, hormone therapy is not recommended for people being treated for breast cancer, as it may increase the risk of recurrence.
How To Tell If Youre Pregnant Or Perimenopausal
Many pregnant women have no symptoms other than a missed period, which could be confused with perimenopause. If youre in perimenopause and are having irregular periods, pregnancy should be considered, Dr. Bembry explains, especially if youre not using contraception.;
He advises pregnancy tests on women up to age 52 or even 60 if menopause has not been confirmed and no form of contraception has been used. This is especially important for patients with abdominal symptoms, which could be a sign of a life-threatening tubal pregnancy.
Denying or ignoring possible pregnancy can delay medical care, which could be risky. Both the risk of miscarriage and having a baby with a chromosomal abnormality increase with age. ;Pregnancy can be so far out of patients minds that they seek care further along than youd normally see, he says.;
The bottom line is if you havent reached menopause defined as 12 straight months without a period you can still get pregnant.
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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
What Is The Difference Between Early And Premature Menopause
Early or premature menopause happens when ovaries stop making hormones and periods stop at a younger age than usual . This can happen naturally or for a medical reason, such as when both ovaries are removed in a hysterectomy.
Early and premature menopause can have the same causes. The only difference is the age at which it happens. Menopause that happens before age 45 is called early menopause. Menopause that happens before age 40 is called premature menopause.
Women who have gone through early or premature menopause cannot get pregnant.
What Are My Options For Becoming Pregnant After Early Menopause
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.
Treatment Shows Promise For Helping Women In Early Menopause
New findings presented in a small study published March 30, 2021, in the journal;Menopause;might restore those dreams. Researchers administered platelet-rich plasma and gonadotropins near the ovarian follicles to bring back ovarian function and menstruation in women who had gone through early menopause.
This could provide another treatment scenario;for women in early menopause and those of impending ovarian failure and give them a better opportunity to conceive using their own eggs, says Chao-Chin Hsu, MD, PhD, a physician in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the National Taiwan University Hospital in Taipei, and a coauthor of the study.
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Benefits Of Being An Older Mom
Although it can be harder to get pregnant when you’re older, there are also some advantages to being an older mom, for both you and your baby. These include:;
Healthier preschoolers with better language skills. Preschoolers with older mothers are healthier overall. They have increased immunization rates, fewer hospitalizations, and fewer unintentional injuries than those born to younger mothers. They also tend to have better language skills and verbal development.;
Increased intelligence when you’re older. Women who gave birth after age 35 scored higher on tests of thinking and verbal memory when they were ages 41 to 92. Additionally, women who used contraceptives for over 10 years had better problem-solving skills and higher executive functioning skills when they were older.;
Better parenting skills. It’s no secret that you probably have more patience than you did when you were younger. Older moms are less likely to discipline their children harshly or yell at them. They are better at setting boundaries as well. Children with older mothers tend to have fewer behavioral, social, and emotional issues. ;