Do All Menopausal Women Experience A Decrease In Sexual Desire
Not all women experience a decreased sexual desire. In some cases, its just the opposite. This could be because theres no longer any fear of getting pregnant. For many women, this allows them to enjoy sex without worrying about family planning.
However, it is still important to use protection during sex if not in a monogamous relationship. Once your doctor makes the diagnosis of menopause, you can no longer become pregnant. However, when you are in the menopause transition , you can still become pregnant. You also need to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections . You can get an STI at any time in your life.
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.
How Does Pregnancy Occur During Perimenopause
Despite the irregular periods, ovulation occurs in the perimenopausal stage. Therefore, there is a chance for the release of a healthy egg, which gets fertilized with the release of the sperm, and you conceive.
Signs such as breast tenderness and white vaginal discharge could help you know you are ovulating. Unprotected sexual intercourse 3-4 days before ovulation and on the day of ovulation could increase the chances of getting pregnant.
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How Do I Know If Changes In My Periods Are Normal Perimenopausal Symptoms Or Something To Be Concerned About
Irregular periods are common and normal during perimenopause . But other conditions can cause abnormalities in menstrual bleeding. If any of the following situations apply to you, see a doctor to rule out other causes.
- Your periods are changing to become very heavy, or accompanied by blood clots.
- Your periods last several days longer than usual.
- You spot or bleed after your period.
- You experience spotting after sex.
- Your periods occur closer together.
Potential causes of abnormal bleeding include hormonal imbalances, hormonal treatments, pregnancy, fibroids, blood-clotting problems or, rarely, cancer.
An Introduction To Pregnancy And Menopause
The menopause is the time in a womans life when her fertility begins to die away. For some women, this is something to look forward to, for others the opposite can be said.
Whatever your attitude towards the menopause might be, your chances of becoming pregnant are the same, and so it is important to be aware that pregnancy is still an option until you have gone for two years without a period.
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Treatments For Menopausal Symptoms
Your GP can offer treatments and suggest lifestyle changes if you have severe menopausal symptoms that interfere with your day-to-day life.
- hormone replacement therapy tablets, skin patches, gels and implants that relieve menopausal symptoms by replacing oestrogen
- vaginal oestrogen creams, lubricants or moisturisers for vaginal dryness
- cognitive behavioural therapy a type of talking therapy that can help with low mood and anxiety
- eating a healthy, balanced diet and exercising regularly maintaining a healthy weight and staying fit and strong can improve some menopausal symptoms
Your GP may refer you to a menopause specialist if your symptoms do not improve after trying treatment or if you’re unable to take HRT.
How Can You Tell If You Are Pregnant During Perimenopause
Pregnancy and menopause share some similar symptoms, from the classic missed period, to fatigue and night sweats. So how can you tell if you are pregnant during perimenopause, or if your symptoms are the result of further transitioning in the process?
Pregnancy symptoms may differ from one woman to the next, but there are some symptoms seen in both pregnancy and menopause, while others are unique to pregnancy. Pregnancy symptoms like sensitive or swollen breasts, nausea, constipation, and food sensitivity should be followed up by an at home pregnancy test, and a trip to the doctor if warranted. While anyone can experience these symptoms, they are more often associated with pregnancy and a test with your doctor can confirm this.
Symptoms unique to menopause include irregular ovulation, vaginal dryness, and loss of bone mass. Although many of these can only be investigated with the help of your doctor, its important to understand the difference in symptoms so you can figure out what you are experiencing.
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Will Hormone Therapy Help Prevent Long
The benefits and risks of hormone therapy vary depending on a womans age and her individual history. In general, younger women in their 50s tend to get more benefits from hormone therapy as compared to postmenopausal women in their 60s. Women who undergo premature menopause are often treated with hormone therapy until age 50 to avoid the increased risk that comes from the extra years of estrogen loss.
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.
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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A Father Inquires For His Perimenopausal Wife
A hopeful and eager father waddles through the message board of the Momtastic Baby and Bump site, asking ladies out there if they had successfully conceived during perimenopause because he and his wife were getting worried about her perimenopause symptoms. Thankfully, a woman around the age of 42 came to save the day .
Nottrustyyet decisively laid down how she was definitely perimenopausal when she got pregnant. She then recounted her story of how at 42, her periods changed: they got shorter, and she had recurring night sweats. It took her and her husband a year and a half to finally conceive their perimenopausal baby! But it was a success and a surely relieving answer for want2BaDaddy!
Can You Prevent Menopausal Pregnancy
Even at the ripe age of 40, ovulation is possible until menopause has been reached, in case of sexually active women, contraception is the best way to prevent pregnancies and the complications it carries.
There are a variety of methods for contraception, including barrier methods, hormonal birth control pills and surgical methods of birth control. Birth control pills may increase hormonal fluctuations causing an increase in menopausal symptoms. In surgical methods, tubal ligation is the most preferred method in which the ends of the fallopian tubes are cut, clamped or burnt, thus preventing the chance of pregnancy. It is always best to consult your gynaecologist before making a decision.
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With All That Said You Can Still Have A Great Sex Life In Menopause
Pizarro and Brown-James both agree on this point. In fact, Dr. Pizarro says meno post-menopausal people have very active sex lives even without taking estrogen. Whats more, sexual satisfaction might increase once someones been through menopause.
There are a few reasons that might happen. The worry of being pregnant is no longer there, says Brown-James. Also, some people experience an increase in their sexual awareness of their bodies. Many women have not been taught to explore their bodies and have internalized ideas that the vulva or vagina are dirty or for someone elses pleasure, not theirs, she explains. A lot of times, if the knowledge that none of that is true hasnt taken root before, it gets dispelled at this point, and women realize their bodies are really for themselves. Bonus: That may also lead to more intense orgasms, says Brown-James.
When To See A Gp
It’s worth talking to a GP if you have menopausal symptoms that are troubling you or if you’re experiencing symptoms of the menopause before 45 years of age.
They can usually confirm whether you’re menopausal based on your symptoms, but a blood test to measure your hormone levels may be carried out if you’re under 45.
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Risks Of Pregnancy In Menopause
Pregnancy during menopause means conceiving at an advanced age, which has increased risks for both the mother and her child. Some of the most common risks of conception at an advanced age are enlisted below:
Can A Woman Get Pregnant After Menopause
Night sweats, hot flashes, mood, skin and body changes, spotting, irregular menstrual periods or no menstrual periodsis it menopause or perimenopause, pregnancy, or something else? When our bodies are showing signs of change or were having abnormal symptoms of things we cant fully explain, we start making guesses as to what may be happening.
Perimenopausal changes can start in your late 30s and 40s, so if youre starting to experience changes in your body, it could mean your body is preparing for menopause. But if youre nearing or in your 40s and wondering if you can still get pregnant, the simple answer is yes, but the chances are slim.
If youve already hit menopause and are wondering if you can still get pregnant, the simple answer is that its highly unlikely, but not impossible. All of these answers relate to fertility in women, which is very different from fertility in men. Although men can produce viable sperm into their 60s, women typically dont have successful pregnancies past their mid-40s.
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Chances Of Getting Pregnant During Perimenopause And Postmenopause
If you hope to become pregnant during perimenopause, and you have not conceived even after six months of trying, you should consult a doctor. The below measures can increase your chances of getting pregnant:
- Intercourse during ovulation: Observe the signs of ovulation such as breast tenderness, abdominal bloating, increased sex drive, slight cramping, and white discharge. Ovulation time is the most fertile time in the menstrual cycle.
- Diet and exercise: Have a balanced diet and exercise to stay fit and healthy. These will improve the chances of conception.
With lifestyle changes and medical help, you might get pregnant during the perimenopausal stage. But is it safe for you and the baby?
Why Does Menopause Happen
Natural menopause menopause that happens in your early 50s and is not caused by surgery or another medical condition is a normal part of aging. Menopause is defined as a complete year without menstrual bleeding, in the absence of any surgery or medical condition that may cause bleeding to artificially stop As you age, the reproductive cycle begins to slow down and prepares to stop. This cycle has been continuously functioning since puberty. As menopause nears, the ovaries make less of a hormone called estrogen. When this decrease occurs, your menstrual cycle starts to change. It can become irregular and then stop. Physical changes can also happen as your body adapts to different levels of hormones. The symptoms you experience during each stage of menopause are all part of your bodys adjustment to these changes.
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Health Risks For Pregnancies Later In Life
Health risks in pregnancy increase with age. After age 35, the risks of certain problems rise in comparison to younger women. These include:
- Multiple pregnancy, especially if you have IVF. Multiple pregnancies can result in early birth, low birth weight, and difficult delivery.
- Gestational diabetes, which can cause health problems for both mom and baby.
- High blood pressure, which requires careful monitoring and possibly medication to ward off complications.
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As you head toward the big change, keep in mind that diaper changes arent quite out of the picture just yet. You can still get pregnant during perimenopause defined as the years leading up to your final period.
This menopausal transition brings unpredictable ovulation cycles as estrogen and progesterone hormone levels go up and down. During these years of yo-yoing hormone levels, your ovaries continue to release eggs for fertilization. Translation: You can still become pregnant.
Premier Health Ob/Gyn physician J. Scott Bembry, MD, says hes seen a handful of patients in his own practice whove become unintentionally pregnant in their late 40s.
Keep At Bay Excess Pounds
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.
Is Having A Hard Time Concentrating And Being Forgetful A Normal Part Of Menopause
Unfortunately, concentration and minor memory problems can be a normal part of menopause. Though this doesnt happen to everyone, it can happen. Doctors arent sure why this happens. If youre having memory problems during menopause, call your healthcare provider. There are several activities that have been shown to stimulate the brain and help rejuvenate your memory. These activities can include:
- Doing crossword puzzles and other mentally stimulating activities like reading and doing math problems.
- Cutting back on passive activities like watching TV.
- Getting plenty of exercise.
Keep in mind that depression and anxiety can also impact your memory. These conditions can be linked to menopause.
Should I Continue Using Birth Control During The Transition To Menopause
Yes. You can still get pregnant during perimenopause, the transition to menopause, even if you miss your period for a month or a few months. During perimenopause you may still ovulate, or release an egg, on some months.
But it is impossible to know for sure when you will ovulate. If you dont want to get pregnant, you should continue to use birth control until one full year after your last period. Talk to your doctor about your birth control needs. Learn more about different .
You cant get pregnant after menopause, but anyone who has sex can get . If you are not in a monogamous relationship in which you and your partner have sex with each other and no one else, protect yourself by using a male condom or correctly every time you have vaginal, oral, or anal sex. After menopause you may be more likely to get an STI from sex without a condom. Vaginal dryness or irritation is more common after menopause and can cause small cuts or tears during sex, exposing you to STIs.
Do You Need Contraceptives During Perimenopause
Unless you are absolutely sure you are in full menopause, getting pregnant is still a possibility and therefore contraceptives are essential. Whether you are using birth control or other methods of contraception, if you want to be sure you still need to use it. Some studies have found that over 75% of pregnancies in women over 40 are unplanned, so its important to assume you are fertile, unless proven otherwise.
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