Pregnant During Menopause

Pregnant During Menopause

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Until What Age Can You Get Pregnant? 

  • It is possible to become pregnant during menopause. 

  • The transition to infertility takes place in several phases, which occur at different points in time for each woman. 

  • Many women experiencing some menopausal symptoms at 40 can still conceive naturally for an extended period of time. 

This article addresses the phases of menopause and age limits to becoming pregnant. 

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What Is Menopause? 

Menopause (climacteric) is a phase of hormonal change that initiates the conclusion of fertile years. It varies from woman to woman and its onset is not accurately predictable. 

It is hard to predict the onset of a young woman’s fertile years. The exact beginning of a woman’s fertile period can vary greatly. This is also the case with its cessation. Even while we assume that a woman’s fertile period lasts for about 35 years, there’s no set age limit to her fertility. The end of a woman’s fertile period is equally hard to pinpoint. 

 

Until What Age Can You Get Pregnant? 

Menopause can last up to ten years and is comprised of three phases

 

1) Perimenopause

Perimenopause is the interval just before menstrual periods stop permanently.  

It begins at an average age of 47.5 years. 
 
Some women do not notice any symptoms, while others temporary miss their periods, or experience a shortened menstrual cycle. During this time of hormonal change, it is possible for menstrual cycles not to include ovulation.  

—> Pregnancy is still possible during this phase.

 

2) Menopause

This term refers to the period of time starting with the last menstrual bleeding, followed by at least 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period. It goes without saying that this point in time can only be correctly determined retrospectively. In this respect, menstruation takes its leave just as quietly as it once began many years before. 

 The average age for menopause is 51.5 years. (International Menopause Society). 

—> During this phase, pregnancy is no longer possible. 

 

3) Postmenopause

These are the years following menopause. From this time on, it is impossible for a woman to have her period naturally or to conceive a child. 

This phase begins at around 52 years of age

 

However, there are always exceptions!

These numbers are all averages. No two women are alike, and each woman experiences menopause uniquely and distinctly. In rare cases, it is possible for a woman's ovaries to be prematurely depleted at around age 40 and, therefore, ovulation can no longer occur. This is called premature ovarian failure, or early menopause.

 

How Do I Know When I Have Reached Infertility? 

Remote assessments concerning the human body, including menopause, are never completely reliable. Nevertheless, here are two methods for drawing conclusions about your current fertility: 
  

The following rule is commonly applied: If a woman has had her last period before the age of 50, she is considered infertile after at least two consecutive years without a menstrual period. If her last menstruation occurred in her fifties, it is assumed that she will not be able to become pregnant after missing her period for only one year. 

Menopause is a good occasion to seek out medical advice, as this a time period in which your body undergoes drastic changes. Your physician can provide you with a professional assessment as to whether a pregnancy may still be possible. 

Your doctor will likely analyse your hormonal satiation via your saliva, urine, or blood. These hormone tests check your levels of estrogen and FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone). Unfortunately, hormone levels fluctuate heavily during this season in life. It is simply a time of change. Therefore, the test is performed repeatedly over an extended period of time.

ℹ️ The AMH blood test can provide a clearer indication on whether you are still in your fertile years, or whether menopause has already begun. The anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) is produced within your follicles and is responsible for the maturation of your egg-cells. The lower your levels of AMH, the less likely you are to ovulate and thereby decreasing the chance of conception. A reduction in AMH levels means decreased fertility. If the amount of AMH in your blood is below 1,6 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml), you are no longer fertile. 

Talk to your doctor, to find out, whether this test is right for you. 

 

Signs & Symptoms of Menopause

Many women notice preliminary indications of menopausal onset in their early forties. The presence and extent of menopausal symptoms varies from woman to woman. 

 

Symptoms include: 

Physical:

  • Irregular menstrual cycles (e.g., unusually longer/shorter cycles) 

  • Hot flashes 

  • Tender breasts 

  • Drier skin and an increase in wrinkles 

  • Fatigue

  • Water retention 

If you are closely in tune with your body, you will also notice: 

  • Earlier rise in temperature (likely due to early ovulation) 

  • Shorter temperature highs 

  • Altered (worsened) cervical mucus quality 

Emotional:

  • Increased and unusual irritability 

  • Decreased libido 

  • Insomnia 

  • ...

🤔 Perhaps you are reading this, because you are experiencing some of these symptoms and are unsure what this means, since some of these symptoms are also markers of pregnancy. Maybe your present symptoms even bring back memories of a past pregnancy. 

 

Am I Pregnant, or Are These Merely Symptoms of Menopause? 

After a missed period, many women over 40 wonder whether they are pregnant, or whether this is the onset of menopause. Other symptoms add to the confusion, since pregnancy and menopause are both marked by hormonal changes. Therefore, a woman’s body may have a similar response to either. 

 

Can Menopause Falsify My Pregnancy Test?

It can be disorienting to read in the instructions, that the test result can be falsified by menopause.  

Especially when the urine-based test is positive, you would naturally ask yourself, „Is this a false positive, or am I really pregnant?“ 

🤔 If this is your situation, it is understandable that you would desire clarity. 

False positives are very rare. The reason for the falsified result is the fact that some tests react, not only to the pregnancy hormone HCG, but also to LH (luteinizing hormone). This hormone can be elevated during the hormonal changes of menopause. 

What to do: Purchase a second pregnancy test from a different manufacturer. It is usually the cheaper tests which are too sensitive to the presence of LH. Getting a more accurate result may be worth the higher investment. If this test is also positive, you are most likely pregnant. 

Of course, you can also visit your gynecologist.  

 

(Unintended) Menopause Pregnancy — Experience Reports 

A woman's fertility is considerably decreased in her early 40s. That does not mean that it is impossible for her to become pregnant after 40, but the likelihood of conception in any given cycle drops to 5%.

What are some experiences of women who have become pregnant during menopause? 

 

Unplanned Pregnancy During Menopause 

Many women who unintentionally become pregnant during menopause are riddled by concerns, “Am I not too old for a baby? Do I still have enough energy to be a mother (again)? Is my child's development normal?” 

At the same time, an unexpected pregnancy during menopause can also be the last chance of becoming a mother — and a chance to enjoy motherhood from a much more mature perspective, leaning on a lifetime of experiences... 

 

Planned Menopause Baby

Although chances of conceiving are significantly reduced during these years, some mothers successfully become pregnant at an advanced age. In this career-oriented age, when women increasingly pursue professional goals, the median child-bearing age is pushed further back.  

Many women find that, leaning on their life-experience, they have become more laid-back. They look forward to this new role and responsibility. 

Unfortunately, this joy can be dampened by an accompanying concern that the child may not develop normally. 

 

Could my Baby Have Birth Defects?

Some risks are increased with higher maternal age — Miscarriages are more common, as are fetal defects. Every woman is responsible for her own reaction to this situation. 


Almost 80 percent of all pregnancies occurring after a woman’s mid-40s end in miscarriage. However, most miscarriages go unnoticed, as the majority occur within the first four weeks of pregnancy. 
 
Today’s medical advancements, as well as higher standards of living, allow for healthy pregnancies and births, at an advanced age. Even here, birth defects are still the exception. 

Some mothers have given birth to a healthy baby at age 53. 

Sometimes the term "high-risk pregnancy" can be confusing. Any pregnancy above the maternal age of 35 is termed “high-risk”. According to statistics, some risks already increase, even before menopause is assumed.  

This means that any pregnancy over 35 is monitored more closely. This translates into more frequent check-ups to ensure that mother and baby are receiving the care they need. 

 

(Suspecting) Menopause Pregnancy and Many Questions...?

If you are reading this, you are probably wondering whether you may be pregnant — either causing you great concern or joyful anticipation.  

At first glance, early pregnancy symptoms are not easily distinguishable from possible menopausal markers or indicators of PMS.

Or has your pregnancy already been confirmed, and now you feel unsure about what to do? Were you done with having any more children, or had you already made other plans?

You are not alone! Will you allow us to walk alongside you as you think though your thoughts and concerns? Our resources provide you with a judgement-free environment. This is where you have the freedom to find the path that is right for you: 

 

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