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    Can a woman get pregnant after menopause ?

    Women Specific Issues

    Can a woman get pregnant after menopause ?

    Updated on 3 November 2023

    Pregnancy after 50 is rare. It is estimated that 12.2% of women experience early menopause. The menopausal period indicates that the ovaries have stopped releasing eggs, which means that natural pregnancy might not be possible. However, women can get pregnant after menopause.

    For menopausal women, the only chance of getting pregnant is with a donor egg or platelet-rich plasma combination with FSH. Let us check all the alternatives for getting pregnant after menopause.

    What Is Menopause?

    Menopause is a natural biological process that occurs in the 40s or 50s, but the average age is 51. Menopause is a natural process indicating that the body is ageing and producing fewer reproductive hormones. It begins when a woman has not had her period for 12 consecutive months.

    Perimenopause occurs before menopause. Perimenopause is considered a time when female hormones begin to change in preparation for menopause. The hormonal changes can affect one's physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being. A few symptoms associated with perimenopause and menopause are:

    • Hot flashes

    • Night sweats

    • Irregular periods

    • Sore or tender breasts

    • Headache

    • Urinary tract infections

    • Painful joints

    • Dry skin

    • Hair loss

    • Weight gain

    • Vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse

    • Difficulty sleeping

    • Mood swings, depression, and anxiety

    In most menopause cases, medical treatment is not needed.

    Women's Fertility as They Age

    The average reproductive age of a woman is between 12 and 40 years. The age between 20-35 is considered an ideal period for reproduction. Women's fertility begins to decline after 35. The fertility rate decreases with age, and it becomes harder to conceive.

    1. Fertility and Menopause

    One in every four women in their 20s and 30s has a chance of becoming pregnant during a single menstrual cycle. By age 40, around 1 in 10 women will get pregnant per menstrual cycle. The number of eggs decreases as women get older. Menopause is a natural biological process marking the end of the menstrual cycle. The ovaries have stopped functioning, meaning there is no release of eggs.

    2. Pregnancy During Perimenopause

    The chances of getting pregnant without fertility treatment are low but not zero during perimenopause. If a woman is in the menopause stage and wants to get pregnant, the doctor will explain how IVF can help them get pregnant at any age. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is an assisted reproductive technology that combines an egg with sperm in a laboratory. After fertilization, the embryo is transferred to the uterus.

    3. Pregnancy During or After Menopause

    Women do ovulate after menopause, but less frequently than before. Fertility also depends on healthy sex partners and menstrual cycles. At this stage, there might be lower levels of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone. Because it is the age of the egg rather than the age of the womb, pregnancy is possible after menopause. If you have had eggs or embryos stored in the past, you can use them for IVF even after menopause.

    4. Risks of Pregnancy After Menopause

    As maternal age increases, so does the risk of health complications for pregnant women. Pregnancy after 40 has an increased risk for preeclampsia, uterine fibroids, miscarriage, and high blood pressure, and it also affects the health of the fetus.

    Signs of Pregnancy After Menopause

    The following are specific signs of pregnancy after menopause;

    • Missed periods

    • Nausea with or without vomiting

    • Sensitive and swollen breasts

    • Constipation

    • Food sensitivity

    You may like : Amenorrhea: Meaning, Sypmtoms & Causes

    Use the home pregnancy test to confirm the pregnancy. Consult the doctor for further investigation.

    Is Pregnancy Possible After Menopause?

    Maria Del Carmen, a Spanish woman, gained global attention by giving birth to twins at 66 in December 2006. She conceived through IVF with donor eggs. Women of any age can conceive after menopause with medical help. If the uterus (womb) is normal, even though the ovaries stop releasing the eggs, pregnancy is possible during menopause with the help of donor eggs and hormone supplements. Women who experience early menopause can restore ovarian function by directly injecting platelet-rich plasma (PRP) with follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) into their ovaries. Women can get pregnant after menopause with this injection without the need for donor eggs. This allows women with early menopause to get pregnant through IVF (in vitro fertilization) using their eggs.

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    Written by

    Loveleen Gupta

    A working mother with more than two decades of experience in writing for the publishing industry and digital space, Loveleen Gupta loves dabbling in creative writing also. A graduate from Miranda House, she uses her personal experiences to express herself.

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