PREGNANCY AFTER MENOPAUSE

pregnancy after menopause

pregnancy after menopause

Can I Get Pregnant After Menopause?

The possibility of achieving pregnancy after menopause is becoming a real reason of concern in today’s society, given that modern women often postpone marriage and pregnancy so that they can concentrate on their career and personal development.

While some women claim they have achieved pregnancy in the menopause, science proves pregnancy after 40 is only possible in the pre-menopause era or a woman can achieve menopausal pregnancy only during this period. There is absolutely no chance of having pregnancy in menopause once menopause is over, as this process actually marks the end of eggs production inside a woman’s ovaries.

So if you want to understand why getting pregnant after menopause is no longer possible after a certain age, take the time to read the lines below!

Why Pregnancy After Menopause is no Longer Possible

Menopause appears when the menstrual cycle stops for more than one year, levels of estrogens and progesterone produced inside a woman’s body after this period being extremely low. While there is still a chance for a woman to have pregnancy during menopause, but after this period her ovaries no longer produce ovules so it’s physically impossible for sperm to fertilize non-existent eggs.

Hormonal changes caused by menstruation, previous pregnancies and menopause itself make it very difficult to predict the chances of having pregnancy at menopause but it’s quite clear that a woman can still conceive if she has occasional periods, even if menstrual bleeding only occurs once a year for example.

The presence of menstrual bleeding shows that the woman’s organism still produces eggs so unless menstruation is missed for more than one year, conceiving is still possible and she stand a  chance of pregnancy during the menopause.

But we only talked about natural pregnancy after menopause until now, so let’s take a look at the one and only solution a woman has for chance of pregnancy after menopause and giving birth to a healthy baby even when her ovaries no longer produce eggs.

Medically Induced Pregnancy after Menopause

The only possibility of conceiving a baby when the ovaries no longer release eggs is to rely on egg donation. This procedure uses eggs from another woman, called donor, which are implanted in the future mom’s uterine lining. Medications are given to the future mom in order for her uterus to become friendlier to the fertilized egg and in order for implantation to take place properly, allowing the embryo to develop.

Chances of conceiving a baby using this method are pretty good, ranging between 45% and 50%, as all the used procedures have the same purposes: to turn the woman’s womb into a properly nourished one, to stimulate the release of pregnancy hormones and the formation of placenta, to sustain the baby’s growth and to eliminate the risk of complications.

However, the procedure does have its limitations and risks:

  • Eggs coming from donors have to be stored and treated with specific techniques before implantation and this often alters their state, reducing the chances of achieving pregnancy.
  • Unstable eggs – altered by chemical or physical treatments – are more prone to genetic abnormalities.
  • Risks for the mother to develop infections, bleeding, hypertensive disorders, gestational diabetes or even embolism are considerable.
  • When pregnancy is induced in older women, there is also a great risk for the future moms to experience seizure, preeclampsia, eclampsia or stroke.

While you may be tempted to say none of these unfortunate events will affect you, it’s always better to thoroughly analyze all the potential side effects and complications this procedure can have before actually undergoing it.

So if you’re interested in learning more about achieving pregnancy after menopause with donor eggs, make sure to read our articles on pregnancy after 40, pregnancy symptoms and baby stages week by week.

Last reviewed on 20/01/2013

Image credit: lutty moreira (used under creative commons license)

References

  • NHS – The Pregnancy Book
  • Pregnancy and birth sourcebook : basic consumer health information about pregnancy and fetal development … / edited by Amy L. Sutton. — 3rd ed. (Omnigraphics, Inc.)
  • The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth (World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.)
  • Prescribing in Pregnancy (Fourth edition) Edited by Peter Rubin and Margaret Ramsay (Blackwell Publishing)
  • Dewhurst’s Textbook Of Obstetrics & Gynaecology (Seventh Edition)Edited By D. Keith Edmonds Ramsay (Blackwell Publishing)
  • Textbook of Diabetes and Pregnancy (Second Edition) Edited by Moshe Hod MD / Lois Jovanovic MD / Gian Carlo Di Renzo MD PhD / Alberto de Leiva MD PhD / Oded Langer MD PhD  (Informa UK Ltd)
  • Management of High-Risk Pregnancy An Evidence-Based Approach (Fifth Edition) Edited By John T. Queenan / Catherine Y. Spong / Charles J. Lockwood (Blackwell Publishing)
  • WHO-2000-Managing Complications in Pregnancy Childbirth A Guide for Midwives Doctors
  • Management of Common Problems in Obstetrics and Gynecology Edited By T. Murphy Goodwin MD / Martin N. Montoro MD /  Laila I. Muderspach MD /  Richard J. Paulson MD /  Subir Roy MD (Wiley-Blackwell)
  • WHO  – Managing Complications in Pregnancy and Childbirth: A guide for midwives and doctors
  • Mood and Anxiety Disorders During Pregnancy and Postpartum Edited By Lee S. Cohen, M.D./ Ruta M. Nonacs, M.D., Ph.D.  (American Psychiatric Publishing)
  • Maternal-Fetal Nutrition during Pregnancy and Lactation  Editors  Michael E. Symonds and Margaret M. Ramsay (CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS)
  • Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies (fifth edition)  Steven G. Gabbe, MD /  Jennifer R. Niebyl, MD /  Joe Leigh Simpson, MD (MOSBY)

Web References

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