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Menopause and pregnancy important things you should know

Health By Esther Muchene
The window to get pregnant naturally is at the perimenopause stage (Photo: Shutterstock)

These days women are choosing to have children later in life. 

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The option of putting a career first and getting financially prepared has allowed women to be happy with what they believe in. With the opportunities available more women can travel, discover their talents and pursue their college degrees without necessarily depending on someone financially.

But does this come at a cost?

Let’s find out. 

It happens that some women start off not wanting children and then changing their minds when they’re already close to hitting their menopausal years. So the question that comes up is, is it still possible to get pregnant when you’re within that phase? At around 40, most women start to experience the symptoms.

Stages of menopause

There are three main stages of menopause. 

The first is perimenopause stage when you’re staring the shift into menopause but your body isn’t quite there yet, the second is the actual menopausal stage and the last is postmenopausal stage. The symptoms you’re experiencing can guide you to know what stage you’re in.

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At the perimenopause stage, you will still get your period but it will become irregular. You’ll know that you’ve reached menopause when you go a full 12 months without your period. At the post menopause stage, the hot flashes and other symptoms will subside for most women.

The window to get pregnant naturally is at the perimenopause stage. Your chances of getting pregnant are reduced but it’s still possible.

Risks involved

The risks associated with late pregnancy are many. You might have a hard time conceiving and the possibility of a miscarriage is high due to chromosome defects. Another concern is the possibility of giving birth to multiples which can strain your body or a baby with some birth defects like Down’s syndrome because of the deteriorated quality of eggs. You might also have a troubled labor and delivery along with other health complications like high blood pressure. This isn’t always what happens, but the pregnancy has to be monitored closely.

Aside from the natural way of doing things, we have the fertility treatments available if you’ve already reached menopause. You’re able to undergo some fertility procedures with egg donations or frozen eggs if you’ve had yours stored previously. You can also go through medical therapies to prepare your body for the pregnancy.

Alternative treatments

There are also women who undergo menopause prematurely. 

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The symptoms like night sweats and hot flashes are more or less the same. The main concern with this is the fact that there is a diminishing number or eggs present. The onset of early menopause is usually caused by genetics, medical conditions and cancer treatments. Conceiving naturally is a challenge with premature menopause but there is still a possibility of getting pregnant when you’re experiencing early signs of menopause but haven’t yet reached the menopausal stage. Another good option in this case is the invitro fertilisaion (IVF) treatments.

Something to note is that IVF treatments can either be successful or not. It’s possible to spend a lot of time and money on different tests and sessions only to start over again. There’s a lot of research that goes into finding a suitable clinic for you too. If you’re choosing to settle on the IVF procedures, you need to prepare yourself mentally for the journey ahead because it’s not easy. Getting some form of counseling for you and your partner is an important step before embarking on that journey.

And of course, we have these situations that still baffle doctors to date which are women who conceive even after the postmenopausal stage. Probably you have come across the stories of those women who give birth in their late 40’s, some even in their late 50s! 

This has all been made possible through the help of medical science. Some women who have undergone a series of IVF treatments and therapies paid off well in the end. 

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