- The Probability of Pregnancy During Menopause
- Why the Pregnancy During Menopause is Dangerous
- Advantages and Disadvantages
- What Contraception Should Be Used During Menopause?
Menopause and Pregnancy
Usually women don’t expect the beginning of a menopause. Most women consider themselves too young for this state: that’s why the first symptoms of menopause confuse them. Later women start thinking about a menopause as about life period, which makes pregnancy impossible.
But in fact pregnancy during menopause is quite possible (though undesirable). Modern women often plan late childbirth (after 35 years) because of their career growth and material needs (they want to have a flat, a car and a deposit). But late pregnancy can accelerate menopause and affect its course negatively.
The terms “climax” and “menopause” are rarely used these days, as there’s a more correct classification now:
This is a stage preceding menstruation’s end. It usually begins at 45 years and lasts until the menopause starts (about three-seven years). Menstrual cycle changes during premenopausal period: the intervals between periods become longer, the period itself becomes scarce and the hormonal ovarian function weakens.
This stage begins after last menstruation and lasts for 12 month. Women have it in the average age of 50.8 years.
This stage begins after menopause and lasts until the ovarian function will cease completely (that is until woman’s death).
The Probability of Pregnancy During Menopause
A girl is born with a certain number of eggs (about 300-400 million) and that number decreases according to her age. Woman, who’s 51-52 years old, has only about 1000 of eggs. But it’s still possible for her to get pregnant during the menopause, though this possibility is quite low.
The ovarian function decreases during menopause, leading not only to the decrease of estrogen production along with period cease, but also to the development of such symptoms as hot flushes, emotional lability, atrophic changes in the bladder and urethra tissues, in the pelvic muscles. Yet you still have to use contraception for one year after the last period (though some sources state you should use it for five years).
Why the Pregnancy During Menopause Is Dangerous
Pregnancy causes hormonal changes in a body and menopause does the same thing. All chronic diseases (such as hypertension, diabetes, systemic lupus erythematosus, etc.) escalate during menopause. Moreover, the pregnancy itself negatively affects the body of a woman in menopause. The kidney function worsens, the calcium is washed out from bones and teeth, and the mineral metabolism is violated.
In addition to the above, the pregnancy that started during menopause and resulted in childbirth is dangerous for the baby too: it can have chromosomal and genetic abnormalities.
The quality of the eggs worsens with age, as various unfavorable factors have been affecting woman’s body during her whole life. That’s why the risk of having a child with Down syndrome or other pathology increases. Childbirth in menopause period is complicated too and often results in postpartum bleeding along with tearing of a birth canal.
Termination of a pregnancy during menopause (medical abortion) can be dangerous too as it can lead to various complications. Female cervix is atrophic during menopause, the cervical canal is hardly disclosed and so the risk of inflammatory diseases and uterine bleeding increases.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Childbirth in menopause can be justified by death of a previous child or inability to give birth before (because of infertility, gynecologic diseases, or housing and material conditions). But you have to remember that you need to not only give birth to a child, but to raise it and to help it during its life.
What Contraception Should Be Used During Menopause?
You can avoid undesirable pregnancy during menopause by taking hormones. It would be optimal to take contraception that contains only progestin (mini-pill, Depo-Provera, Norplant) Barrier contraceptives (such as condoms, cervical caps, spermicides) are popular too.