Menopause and Pregnancy

pregnancy menopauseFacing menopause can potentially be a very distressing stage in a woman`s life.  Not only must she face the end of her fertility, but also cope with the physical changes in her body and the emotional challenges that this stage of life often presents.

The loss of the option to become pregnant often brings the feeling that youth is gone and can be a very challenging time in a woman`s life.  Not surprisingly, some women struggle with mixed emotions and can feel quite depressed when they notice the first signs of menopause and require lots of love and support from those closest to them.

However, for other women, it signals a time of freedom from the worry of pregnancy or birth control.  Many women relish the feelings of liberation and enjoy having the free time now that children have moved away from home.  They can enjoy more time with their spouse and pay attention to their own well being and desires.

Is It Possible To Become Pregnant During Menopause?

You may or may or may not be  surprised to hear that it is possible – although rare – to become pregnant while going through menopause and I feel it important that you understand how this can happen.

Keep in mind that menopause is a gradual process that takes place over several years, usually beginning around the age of fifty one.  Many women view it as a sudden event that happens in a matter of months. In fact, menopause only occurs once a woman has gone for twelve consecutive months without having a period. The ceasing of production of the hormones, estrogen and progesterone means that the ovaries will no longer produce eggs, which means that it would be physically impossible to become pregnant naturally.  Pregnancy in menopause requires an adequate supply of estrogen to happen at all.

However, especially during the early stages of menopause, when a woman`s hormone are fluctuating, it is possible to become pregnant.  And providing that there is no medical reason why she cannot become pregnant it may be wise talking to a doctor about birth control during menopause.

Does The Chances Of Pregnancy Decrease Once Menopausal Symptoms Begin?

As menopause does not follow the exact same pattern for every woman, once a menstrual period starts to become irregular, many women wrongly believe that they are in the early stages.  When in fact, this may be the beginning of the peri-menopause phase and the irregular periods may last for years.  At anytime during this stage of menopause pregnancy can occur, although many women wrongly believe that it cannot and cease using birth control.

Although there have recently been reports of older women becoming pregnant after menopause through egg donation, it is important to remember that there are certain risks for all `older` moms.

What Are The Risks Of A Later In Life Pregnancy?

Women who become pregnant in menopause have an increased risk of infection, miscarriage, bleeding and several other potentially serious medical conditions. Furthermore, medical research has discovered that the risk grows even higher with each year that passes after the age of forty.

And so, while it is rare for women going through menopause to become pregnant, it is certainly not impossible.  While you are still having menstrual periods – no matter how irregular they are – there is always the possibility of pregnancy in menopause.

So unless you would welcome a new addition to your family, don`t give up on the birth control.