These days with IVF so prevalent, getting pregnant after menopause is something that many women can achieve.
Menopause is seen as the time in a woman’s life when she is no longer able to bear children. This is because the change in hormones throughout the body. So what does it mean when a woman gets pregnant after menopause? Was it really menopause that they went through?
What Menopause Does
Menopause drastically changes a woman’s body. When menopause occurs, a woman no longer gets a monthly menstrual period. This is because the hormones that trigger ovulation and pregnancy are not longer as strong in the body as they were when the woman was twenty years younger. Estrogen and progesterone will drop, and this will cause the body to no longer have the ability to get pregnant. But since the process of menopause takes anywhere from five to ten years to complete, this is an awkward time in a woman’s life. She will still have a chance of getting pregnant.
With menopause, the hormone levels will drop, but there are times when they will spike during the course of the change. At this time, a woman’s body can be able to still conceive a child, giving into the fact that a woman can get pregnant during or what they think is after menopause.
Preventing Pregnancy after Menopause
In order to prevent pregnancy after or during menopause, a woman will want to stay on an effective form of birth control. Since women in their forties and older are not recommended to take birth control pills, it is more likely that a doctor will suggest the use of a diaphragm, IUD, or a permanent option such as a tubal ligation. Any surgical options will want to be carefully considered, but other forms of birth control are effective and will help to prevent any chance of pregnancy during or after menopause.
And if a woman does decide that they want to have a baby and they have already been through menopause, there are options for them as well. They can look into a donor egg program that will allow the woman to carry the baby through a pregnancy with the aid of a younger female’s eggs. But for women who are considering this, there are much higher risk of fetal problems than the woman who is younger. The risks with an older woman include developing an infection, embolisms, and hemorrhaging. Strokes and seizures are also at a higher incidence with a woman who is older. Risks to the baby can also occur.
Can You Ever Really Get Off Birth Control?
What many women want to know is if they will ever be safe without having to use birth control, even after they are through menopause. This information is usually based on personal medical information. A doctor will be able to advise their female patients when it will be the right time to throw out the birth control and not have to worry about the risk of pregnancy. This is generally after about a ten year window of menopause symptoms. So if you are still in menopause, don’t throw out that birth control just yet.