Can You Get Pregnant During Menopause? Key Facts Explained
Can you get pregnant during menopause? Most women who are just entering menopause wonder too if it is possible they can still get pregnant at this phase of their life. This confusion comes from the fact that although rare, they still get a period every now and then.
To understand if you can still get pregnant during menopause, it is important to understand what menopause is and what it entails.
What is Menopause?
Menopause is that time of a woman’s life where she has ceased to see her period for at least 12 months. It doesn’t just happen all of a sudden, but would have been long coming and this time is called perimenopause.
Perimenopause typically occurs four years before a woman enters menopause proper. During this time, you will begin to experience the following perimenopausal symptoms:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweat
- Mood swing
- Low bone density
- Weight gain
- Sleep difficulties
- Vaginal and bladder problems
- Changes in your cholesterol levels
- Inability to concentrate
- Poor memory
- Irregular periods
Perimenopause is known as the transition to menopause and typically starts at age 51 although it could start earlier at age 47. It lasts for between 4 – 7 years before a woman enters menopause fully.
During this period of a woman’s life, she will begin to see her period irregularly and this happens due to a decrease in her estrogen and progesterone, two of the sexual hormones for women.
The Link Between Perimenopause, Menopause and Getting Pregnant
Perimenopause and Pregnancy
It is very likely to get pregnant during perimenopause and this is due to the fact that, while your periods might have become irregular, this does not in any way depict no fertility. Most women believe that they are not fertile anymore during this time, and go off whatever birth control methods they have been using.
However, because their bodies are still releasing fertile eggs, even if less than before the perimenopausal stage, they still run the risk of falling pregnant. While you may not have gotten a period for a few months, your body just might be gearing for it the next and so, would release an egg during this time. Any sexual activity that takes place during this time could likely result in pregnancy.
For women not looking to get pregnant, it is important you continue with your birth control pills
Menopause and Pregnancy
Can you get pregnant during menopause? The short answer is yes. You are said to be in menopause when you haven’t had a period for 12 consecutive months and this happens once there is a complete cessation in the production of estrogen and progesterone hormones.
For most women, pregnancy during this stage is highly unlikely. However, research has found that even though a woman’s menstrual periods may have stopped, her hormonal activities might still function for up to six months, especially within the ovaries. It was found that for these women, the hormonal activities six moths after the end of their periods remained at the same levels as what was seen while the period still flowed.
What this simply means is that for some women, even with the stop of their periods, they remain fertile temporarily and should take precautions to prevent pregnancy.
Menopause in the recent years has made it possible for many women to enjoy their sex lives due to the fact they no longer have to use protection in order to prevent pregnancy.
It is important to discuss pregnancy or any kind with your partner, especially during menopause. You and your partner should discuss the options available to you. With emotions flaring, don’t be afraid to say what you need to say in order to deal with your pregnancy. Pregnancy during menopause is another challenge that can only be faced through proactive cooperation.
While if you find out you are pregnant during menopause, you need to think about what is best for you, and what is best for the baby. It is useless to pint fingers and shift blame. Your emotions are going to be all over the place because you are dealing with two major hormonal shifting and unbalancing. Don’t feel pressured to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable in any way.