Every woman is born with a fixed ovarian reserve or follicles, contributing to the monthly regulated menstrual cycle until one hits menopause. It is a very erroneous assumption that getting pregnant after 45 is impossible. While the process is no doubt difficult, it is not impossible.
The National Centre for Health Statistics reported 0.8 births per 10,000 women between 50-54 years of age. The numbers were slightly more at 840 births to women aged 50. So, if we go by the numbers, getting pregnant during the perimenopausal period is possible.
Several women are often confused about the transition from active child-bearing years to perimenopause and menopause and its impacts on fertility. This article will explore the top fertility tips for women nearing menopause.
In this Article
- 1 What is Perimenopause?
- 2 How does One Know if they are Fertile During Perimenopause?
- 3 Fertility Tips for Women Trying to Conceive during Perimenopause
- 4 FAQs
- 5 Conclusion
What is Perimenopause?
The phrase, “nearing menopause” has a medical term known as perimenopause. It comprises the months or weeks that lead to the permanent elimination of the menstrual periods or the stage of menopause.
Surprisingly, perimenopause is different in different women. Some experience it over a few months, while others might even experience it for years (14 years is the maximum period).
The period of perimenopause involves erratic and irregular periods and mimics the symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, vaginal dryness, fatigue, mood swings, etc.
As one hits menopause, the levels of estrogen and progesterone reduce drastically while the levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) increase in the bloodstream.
One of the most crucial pointers about perimenopause is fertility. It is true that a woman’s fertility drastically reduces during perimenopause. However, does this mean that a woman can’t get pregnant during perimenopause?
There are slim chances that one might get pregnant if they are fertile enough. So, engaging in protected sex or being on birth control is necessary if one wants to avoid conceiving.
How does One Know if they are Fertile During Perimenopause?
As a woman nears menopause, their ovarian function declines and is quite irregular and erratic. This means that there are chances that the ovary might release an egg one month and not release one the very next.
Perimenopause drastically affects ovarian function, especially due to the declining level of the important fertility hormones – estrogen and progesterone.
The drastically reduced levels of these two hormones directly affect the quality of the eggs released from the ovary. Women also experience up to a 50% decrease in fertility during perimenopause.
However, that doesn’t completely rule out the chances of pregnancy. So, practicing safe sex with contraceptives is still ideal if one wants to avert an unplanned pregnancy.
Fertility Tips for Women Trying to Conceive during Perimenopause
Several women are considering tryi ng for a baby during the late thirties or forties (sometimes even in the fifties). The “midlife” period is often considered a harder phase for getting pregnant. However, according to an article published in the Hindustan Times, some doctors had some amazing fertility tips to share.
Here’s a breakdown of all the medical advice and fertility tips that you need to be aware of:
Do the chances of pregnancy rise leading up to menopause?
The concept of fertility boost during the perimenopause period is something that almost every individual wonders about. As the body stimulates the ovaries more aggressively during the perimenopausal period, there should be heightened chances of getting pregnant, right?
Doctors suggest that there could be a relative rise, but no conclusive studies support this claim.
However, this doesn’t completely rule out the chances of a successful conception. Most fertility specialists suggest assistive reproductive techniques (ARTs) like in-vitro fertilization to conceive a biological child.
Since the hormonal levels during perimenopause are quite all over the place, doctors suggest their patients undergo hormone therapy to prepare the body for conception and implantation.
What are the chances of a natural conception during perimenopause?
The possibility of a natural pregnancy during the late thirties, forties, and even fifties is possible and not a complete no.
Indeed, the overall fertility chances are drastically reduced due to depleting ovarian reserve and the poor quality of the remnant oocytes in the ovary. However, there are reports of natural conception during the later stage of life in several women.
However, conception at an advanced maternal stage comes with many complications – both for the mother and the fetus. The doctor will shed light on all the complications leading up to the delivery of the baby.
Two of the most common complications witnessed in a geriatric pregnancy include the onset of diabetes and hypertension in the mother. Babies born to someone of advanced maternal age are at risk of developing congenital disabilities and chromosomal abnormalities.
Does maintaining the overall physical and mental well-being support fertility during perimenopause?
Not just for women in their perimenopause, maintaining good physical and mental health is crucial to any pregnancy.
So, one of the most important fertility tips, as suggested by the doctors for a successful pregnancy outcome, is to manage stress, maintain optimal physical health, keep blood pressure under control, avert the risks of diabetes and even seek professional counseling if needed.
Doctors also suggest being mindful of the body’s symptoms. Keeping an eye out for the signs of ovulation is crucial for a woman trying to conceive during their perimenopausal period.
Common symptoms like watery vaginal discharge and tenderness in the breasts should be taken into account. Also, pairing that with healthy lifestyle choices like eating a balanced diet, indulging in an active lifestyle, and taking care of one’s mental health might increase the fertility and chances of conception.
Typically, menopause happens when a woman hasn’t had their period for 12 months straight. So, if one is considering getting pregnant before that or during the days leading up to menopause, seeking professional help is crucial. It is crucial to have a comprehensive discussion with a gynecologist to weigh the pros and cons of the choices.
Is there any pregnancy risk during perimenopause?
Women who are pregnant during their perimenopause phase might experience a handful of complications, including the increased risks of congenital disabilities, chromosomal abnormalities, premature birth, or even miscarriages.
Is it safe for someone in their advanced maternal age to get pregnant?
Pregnancy during the late 30s, 40s or even 50s can bring many issues for the mother. Most pregnant women during such periods can develop diabetes or hypertension throughout the pregnancy term.
Is IVF the only way to get pregnant during early menopause?
The incidence of natural conception during early menopause is very slim. This is due to poor quality of the oocytes in the ovaries, hormonal imbalance, and overall health. So, IVF is often considered a healthier alternative.
Fertility in women leading up to their menopause declines irrevocably. However, that doesn’t rule out the chances of a natural conception. With proper gynecological consultation, optimal health, and a pre-made mindset, it might be possible to conceive a biological child during the midlife period. However, there are associated complications with it of which one needs to be aware.