Menopause is the time in which you are no longer able to bear children because of the change in hormones throughout the body. So what does it mean when a woman gets pregnant after menopause?
What happens during menopause?
Menopause drastically changes your body. When menopause occurs, you no longer get a monthly menstrual period. This is because the hormones that trigger ovulation and pregnancy are not as strong as they used to be. Estrogen and progesterone drop, and this causes 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 life, and you still have a (slight) chance of getting pregnant.
During menopause, the hormone levels drop, but there are times when they also spike during the course of the change. It is at this time that the ability to conceive may still be possible.
Preventing pregnancy after menopause
In order to prevent pregnancy during or after menopause, you must continue using an effective form of birth control. Since birth control pills are not recommended past the age of forty, your doctor will likely suggest using a diaphragm, IUD, or a permanent option such as a tubal ligation.
If you decide that you want to have a baby and you have already been through menopause, there are options to consider. A donor egg program will allow you to carry the baby throughout pregnancy with the aid of a younger female’s eggs. But there is also a much higher risk of fetal problems at an advanced age. The risks for an older woman carrying a baby include developing an infection, embolisms, hemorrhaging, strokes. and seizures. Risks to the baby are also possible.
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 with menopause. This information is usually based on personal medical information. A doctor will be able to advise 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!
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