Can a woman get pregnant when she is perimenopause
Until she turned 40, Debbie wasn't interested in having children. Knowing her age might make it difficult to get pregnant, she saw a fertility specialist and started taking fertility drugs right away. Debbie had a son just before her 42nd birthday. When her son turned 2, Debbie started trying for a second child.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Perimenopause & Fertility
SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Perimenopause, Can Women Become Pregnant During This?Content:
Is Pregnancy Possible During Perimenopause?
Until she turned 40, Debbie wasn't interested in having children. Knowing her age might make it difficult to get pregnant, she saw a fertility specialist and started taking fertility drugs right away. Debbie had a son just before her 42nd birthday. When her son turned 2, Debbie started trying for a second child.
This time the drugs didn't work, even after a year. Tests showed she had a low ovarian reserve, meaning she didn't have a lot of quality eggs left. Now 50, Debbie hasn't yet reached menopause, but she knows it's very unlikely she will conceive another child — even with IVF or another type of assisted reproduction.
What is perimenopause? A woman's transition through her reproductive years is complex and often misunderstood, says Nanette Santoro, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Colorado-Denver.
Technically menopause is when a woman hasn't had her period for a full year. But the two to 10 years before that — when she may experience hot flashes or irregular periods — is known as perimenopause.
Endocrinologists mark the beginning of perimenopause when a woman first notices her menstrual cycle is consistently early or late by at least seven days. This early stage begins around age 47 and typically lasts about two years, says Santoro. Late-stage perimenopause going more than 60 days without a period typically lasts another two years. By age 51 most women have reached menopause. But some fertility specialists say perimenopause often starts much earlier.
It can even begin before a woman notices any symptoms or has reason to think she may have trouble getting pregnant. This can be a very frustrating time, says Santoro, because doctors don't have easy answers.
We can't give them a straight answer whether they will get pregnant or not, and we can't tell them whether treatments will definitely work. The maddening unpredictability of perimenopause Wendy Moorhouse, a nonprofit operations specialist in Alameda, California, started trying to get pregnant in her early 30s.
After a year, she visited a fertility clinic and learned that her levels of follicle-stimulating hormone FSH were high for her age — an indication that she had a low ovarian reserve and that her body was working harder than normal to trigger ovulation each month. Moorhouse was still having regular periods, so she was shocked. She tried oral fertility drugs every other month for a year, then injectable hormones, then intrauterine insemination IUI. Nothing worked, and after three years her fertility specialist suggested she consider either adoption or using a donor egg.
Moorhouse and her husband digested the news over a dinner and a lot of wine. She missed her next period and soon after that discovered she was pregnant.
Moorhouse gave birth to her son at age She had another surprise pregnancy two years later, and her daughter was born just before her 40th birthday. By 44, she'd stopped getting her period completely. Every woman's reproductive timeline is different, and Berga recommends seeing a specialist as soon as you have trouble conceiving — even if you're in your 30s. Understanding your fertility treatment options Even for women in late perimenopause, there's a chance that they can still get pregnant, Berga says.
But it's important to understand that it's unlikely, she says, especially without help. Fertility treatment options depend on several factors, including age and hormone levels. Women in their early 30s often still have good quality eggs, says Berga, and usually have several options, including intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization. But if a woman's FSH levels are high — as they often are in her late 30s or early 40s — IVF may not help because it's likely her egg quality is compromised.
That can mean IVF isn't a good option for many women, like Moorhouse. In this case, fertility specialists often recommend using either an oral medication such as Clomid clomiphene citrate or an injectable hormone.
These treatments increase FSH levels, prompting the body to release more than one egg each month. These drugs also help regulate the timing of ovulation, Santoro adds, which is helpful for perimenopausal women whose periods have become less regular.
These medications help about half of the women who use them to get pregnant, and they're safe and relatively inexpensive, says Santoro. But what if a woman's cycles are already irregular? So it may or may not work. Dealing with the emotions of perimenopause and infertility Having difficulty conceiving can be extremely stressful. And the increased pressure to do so before "time runs out" means it can easily become overwhelming. Moorhouse remembers how "every other month I'd go to the clinic for treatments, and then I'd be sad and depressed when they didn't work and didn't want to talk about it with anyone.
Eventually a therapist helped them weigh the pros and cons of alternatives like adoption. For women facing these choices, it's very normal to mourn the loss of their fertility and their chance to be a biological mother, says Harteneck.
On top of that, they may start experiencing symptoms of perimenopause, which means they can feel depressed, tired, and moody. During this transition, it's extremely important for women to have the support of her partner and loved ones, says Harteneck. A therapist who specializes in infertility can also offer a safe place to explore all the emotions and choices that come with infertility and this period of transition.
Debbie, who has spent the last three years unsuccessfully trying to have a second child, has conflicting thoughts about what lies ahead. It was hard to talk about with people, especially the other moms — all younger — who were still able to get pregnant easily. But she is grateful to have one healthy child and is finding a silver lining in her situation. Back Donate Fundraise Friends of Seleni. Perimenopause and Infertility Making choices, managing emotions, and figuring out what's happening with your body Until she turned 40, Debbie wasn't interested in having children.
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Perimenopause and Infertility
Menopause , despite the fact that it has happened or will happen to every single person with a vagina, is still a pretty confusing milestone—especially for those who experience it. For the most part, it's common knowledge that, once a woman stops having her period, then she also stops having the ability to have children. Or at least it was, until news reports highlight that women past childbearing age—like Omaha native Cecile Edge , at 61 years old—are able to give birth to their own grandchildren in some instances. So what gives? Can you give birth after menopause?
While fertility gradually diminishes as you age, women at midlife are still able to conceive—whether they want to or not. Acdording to the National Center for Health Statistics, there were births to women 50 years and over in In addition, the birth rate for women aged 45 and over was 0. Many other questions surround the biological transition from child-bearing years to post-menopause. Perimenopause refers to the months or years leading up to menopause , which is the permanent cessation of menstrual periods that occurs at an average age of
Menopause and pregnancy
There are many similar symptoms shared between pregnancy and menopause, such as nausea, bloating, late periods etc. Many women brush off these symptoms, believing that they cannot get pregnant because they are going through the menopause. Our menopause expert Eileen Durward is on hand to correct this assumption and to discuss the risk of becoming pregnant during the menopause. For some women, this is something to look forward to, for others the opposite can be said. Whatever your attitude towards the menopause might be, your chances of becoming pregnant are the same, and so it is important to be aware that pregnancy is still an option until you have gone for two years without a period. The decline of hormones means increasingly irregular ovulation so it is difficult for a woman to know how long she continues to be fertile. Many forget when their last period occurred — six months ago?
Can you still get pregnant during the perimenopause? An expert explains all
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