Menopause and Pregnancy
Most woman begin the menopausal transition in their 30′s. By the time they hit 40 they feel safe from pregnancy but in fact they shouldn’t. We’ve all heard the phrase, change of life baby, and indeed it is a strong possibility to become pregnant during menopause.
It is true that woman in their 20′s and early 30′s have a better chance of getting pregnant than that of a woman in perimenopause, but perimenopausal woman are still at risk. When the menstrual cycle begins to change or not come at all, it is very difficult to predict whether fertilization can occur or not.
A menstrual cycle begins by the brain telling the body to ovulate. An ovary will release an egg. The egg will travel the fallopian tube and while this process is happening the uterine wall will become thick with blood. If the egg gets fertilized it will attach to the uterine wall where it will begin to grow. If the egg doesn’t get fertilized the uterus flushes it, thus causing the menstrual cycle. A menstrual cycle occurs in pre menopausal woman every 21 – 28 days.
A change of life pregnancy holds some risks not only for the baby but for the mother as well. The baby may develop some chromosome abnormalities. The baby can be premature and/or be born with low birth weight. The mother may experience a breach birth or develop osteoporosis. Pregnancy takes a toll on a woman’s body in many ways, and the older you get your body continues to experience changes of its own, so adding a pregnancy in middle age usually ends with abortion.
Chances of a Woman Becoming Pregnant
Although, the chances of a woman becoming pregnant in her 40′s is reduced by 50 %, pregnancies still can occur. The older you get the probability of pregnancy decreases, but it’s not impossible until complete menopause when a woman is then infertile.
Although, a woman in perimenopause does not have the luxury of knowing if she will have her cycle because they can become so unpredictable. She can skip a month or two before she has one. This is why some perimenopausal women will decide to use an oral contraceptive, like birth control pills. Not only does birth control pills prevent pregnancy, even the change of life pregnancy, but it also regulates the menstrual cycle, as well as, provide some hormone replacement a perimenopausal woman may lose.
If a change of life pregnancy concerns you, you may want to consider some kind of contraceptive. Whether it is birth control pills or not there are other means of contraception, like refraining from intercourse, the male partner may get a vasectomy, a tubal ligation may be an option, as well as, over the counter contraceptives like birth control creams, condoms, or gels, among others. It is always best to discuss any treatments and/or your condition with a healthcare professional. They can assist you in what treatment or treatments may be best for you.