Menopause pregnancy refers to pregnancy in a woman who is approaching menopause. Menopause technically refers to a cessation of periods or monthly cycles in a woman, implying that there will be no ovulation or chances of conception for such a woman.
Generally the hormone level in women decreases with increasing age and the signs of menopause start to show-up from around age 45 with ovulation and menstrual cycles becoming irregular.
It’s a common misconception to think menopause is an instant process that occurs overnight. It’s not as simple as sleeping one night and waking up with menopause the next morning. In practical truth, it takes a number of years for a woman’s body to prepare for menopause.
However, it’s definitely possible for a woman to get pregnant during her peri-menopausal years (which is marked by altered duration of menstrual cycle and irregular ovulation).
Here is how a trying to conceive woman in Nigeria put it, “Menopause Is Not Menostop”. Guess what? She got pregnant and delivered her baby boy at 55.
During peri-menopausal years, when a woman skips a menstrual cycle, her body may still release one of the last few eggs preserved in her body.
While these eggs are being released, the woman is likely to get pregnant if she has sexual intercourse and sperms become available to fertilize the egg at the right time. This kind of pregnancy is termed a menopausal pregnancy.
As a result of not having regular periods about the time of menopause, most women don’t notice such pregnancy until they are in the mid months. Some women have buttressed this fact as they discovered they’re pregnant in the late months of their pregnancies.
A number of women, who have crossed 45 years of age, believe that they don’t need any contraception while having sexual intercourse, a habit generally attributed to the thinking they can’t get pregnant in peri-menopause stage.
Many of them are certain of not getting pregnant at their age. Although a vast majority of women during peri-menopausal years don’t have a lot of functional eggs and so the chances of a successful pregnancy during menopause is very unlikely.
Whenever a menopause pregnancy occurs, the classic sign and symptoms are same with typical normal pregnancy; morning sickness, fatigue, dizziness and lethargy; however severity of these symptoms may vary in a peri-menopause woman.
Pregnancy during menopause can greatly affect the maternal health of the woman involved because the reproductive mechanism in a typical menopausal woman isn’t fully functional and regular. The risks of most pregnancy-related health issues are fairly high in menopausal women like gestational hypertension, gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia.
Also studies have suggested that babies born during menopause have lower than average I.Q., although reasons for this claim have not been validated. Moreover, delivery process is more complicated in pregnancy during menopause than any ordinary pregnancy.
Contraception is the only safest means to ensure that a peri-menopausal woman doesn’t get pregnant while having sexual intercourse. The option of contraception picked by most women of menopause age is “tubal ligation”.
During tubal ligation, majority of women have their fallopian tubes burned, cut or clamped off in order to prevent any more pregnancies. This procedure of tubal ligation must be carried out by a good obstetrician. The recovery time after tubal ligation is quite short, so interested women needn’t worry about it.
The assumption that a woman has stopped ovulating just because of noticeable fall in her regular periods is false. Even if you observe that you’ve started skipping your regular periods, you may still be ovulating. It’s true that a woman can ovulate without menstruating. So women are capable enough to reproduce even in their 40s and 50s.
When a woman reaches menopause, her ovulation and menstrual cycles don’t stop abruptly. She might go for a few months or even a year of having infrequent periods once in a while. This is the phase where there is probability of having a pregnancy during menopause.
Pregnancy during menopause is a high risk pregnancy and that’s why any expecting mom in this category must take extra caution during her pregnancy. It’s important that you keep up with all your antenatal check-ups and importantly, follow your doctors guiding instructions diligently.
Women who believe they’re close to menopause must know that if they skip menstrual periods for over a year, only then can menopause be confirmed. Surprisingly, the chances of getting pregnant are still there, even though such possibility is very rare.
Pregnancy is the glory of womanhood…and never ceased to spring wonders. Stories of women who got pregnant and successfully delivered their babies during menopause commonly abound around the world. This experience is especially shocking to women who hardly expect to be nursing moms during menopause.
Finally, every woman in menopause is advised to use suitable contraceptive even when her menopause is confirmed. This is the only way to prevent any unwanted menopause pregnancy.