Pregnancy After Menopause: Not As Incompatible As You Thought!

by Laura Ramirez on April 14, 2011

Pregnancy after menopause has been a subject of much controversy in recent years. There have been several stories worldwide about older women becoming pregnant and delivering children, well beyond the time that they should have completed menopause. How is this possible and does this mean that all women need to continue to be worried about the possibility of becoming pregnant post menopause?

The simple answer is it is not biologically possible for a woman to become pregnant naturally after menopause. So for these older mothers, there can only be two possible explanations: either they were assisted in becoming pregnant through some medical means or they hadn’t actually completed the transition. While it is impossible to become pregnant after menopause, pregnancy during menopause is a very real concern.

Menopause is defined as the state of having ceased menstruation for a period of at least 12 months. In some cases, a woman’s period can become more irregular as she ages without actually stopping entirely. If your period seems to have stopped and you believe you are experiencing menopause, you could still be actively producing eggs. Pregnancy after menopause is impossible because at that point eggs are not produced.

Because eggs may still be produced sporadically, pregnancy during menopause remains possible. But the older a woman gets, the more difficult it is to sustain a pregnancy and the greater the risks to both mother and child. So if you are experiencing menopause, you need to continue taking precautions against pregnancy in order to lessen your possible risks.

While some women may still be open to the idea of pregnancy after menopause or during menopause, it is not always advisable. The older a woman is, the more likely it is that her baby will be exposed to the possibility of premature birth, low birth weight or even be stillborn. The mother herself is more likely to need a C section and can run the risk of complications such as gestational diabetes or osteoporosis.

Since the risks of pregnancy during menopause are so great, it is always advisable to talk to your doctor as you begin menopause and consider the possibilities for birth control. With ovulation being so hard to predict at this time, natural methods of contraception may not be viable. Many women opt for tubal ligation, where the fallopian tubes are tied off in order to prevent eggs from reaching the uterus, or their partners undergo a vasectomy to permanently avoid the problem.

Though pregnancy after menopause is not possible naturally, it may be achieved by other means such as in vitro fertilization, but again, the older the mother the greater the risk to both herself and the baby. If you are anxious to become pregnant at this stage of your life, you will need to discuss the subject with your doctor and make sure you are well aware of all the risks and all of your options. Adoption might be a good option for you to consider.

Menopause does not necessarily mean a free pass around the issue of pregnancy, so don’t be careless when you being to experience menopause symptoms. Continue to take the appropriate precautions until you are certain that you have completed menopause. Only then is the possibility of becoming pregnant negated.

Copyright © 2011 by Laura Ramirez. All Rights Reserved.

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