Can I Get Pregnant During Perimenopause?

by Magnolia on September 18, 2013

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With so many Hollywood celebrities having children in their 40s, and some even in their 50s, one might think that conceiving children in the mid-life years is a snap.

I mean, Halle Berry just makes it look effortless, doesn’t she?

But the unvarnished truth is, statistically, the chances of conception occurring naturally after the age of 40  (when most women are enteringperimenopause) are approximately 5 percent at best.

With hormone levels fluctuating wildly, as they do for so many women during perimenopause, the necessary hormonal balance to facilitate fertility is just not there.

In addition, anovulatory menstrual cycles - menstrual cycles which occur without ovulation – are also common for women who are in perimenopause. When there is no ovulation, there is no fertility and no pregnancy.

Add to this tenuous fertility environment the fact that our eggs are aging and diminishing in quality as we get older, and it’s easy to see why women conceiving children without the help of medical intervention in our 40s is not really common place.

If you are one of those women who actually transcends the statistical hurdles and does conceive during perimenopause, the chances of a miscarriage in the first trimester is approximately 50 percent, with an additional 20 percent chance of pre-term labor

However, it can and does happen, as I can personally attest. I naturally (and quite unexpectedly) conceived my third child at the ripe old age of 42, just after I began going through perimenopause. I had an unexpected mid-cycle period, which unbeknownst to me, also reset my ovulation cycle, and viola’, baby was conceived. I gave birth to her when I was nearly 43, and she is now 14 years old.

Without question, she was the greatest “mistake” I’ve ever made.

In fact, I was so inspired by her birth that I actively tried to conceive more children for several years after she was born.  But, unfortunately, it was all to no avail.

Should You Use Birth Control During Perimenopause?

The math is certainly against your being able to naturally conceive and carry a child to term during the perimenopause years. However, it absolutely can happen. So, unless you would like to have another child, it would be wise to take precautionary measures.

Some women continue to take birth control pills well into their perimenopause years, both for protection against unwanted pregnancy, and to treat their perimenopause symptoms. As you all know, I’m not a huge fan of birth control pills for much of anything.

But, if are able to take them with no difficult side effects, and you wish to, by all means, don’t let my personal opinion be your guide. Of course, there are certainly plenty of other methods of birth control available as well. But, whatever you do, ladies, just don’t play “fertility roulette” during your perimenopause years. Unless of course, like me, you don’t mind the idea of being 60 when your child graduates from high school.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Hanneke September 19, 2013 at 12:02 pm

I can not even imagine to have kids around when in (peri) menopause. Seriously, I don’t know myself anymore, everything and everyone annoys me and I feel I am totally self absorbed. A super bitch, I hope this passes real quick because it’s no fun at all.
I had my kids early in life and thank goodness they live on their own, I would not have been able to deal with their issues, I simply would not have the patience for it.
All my energy goes to being a good girl to my poor husband, he doesn’t know the woman he married anymore and that’s bad enough. I’ll get back to normal soon baby, I promise!!!!

Thanks for your blog!!

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Susan Yoga September 23, 2013 at 7:48 am

I would always suggest that that get preg and have child before 40, as it is the right age to control yourself, once you cross 40 it will be quite difficult manage your health. The baby is more likely to have certain disabilities as the chances increase as the mother gets older. The mother will not be physically as prepared for pregnancy and childbirth as she once was so there are increased risks of complications. Thanks a lot for sharing such a wonderful post. Thank You

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Alisa Ashouri January 28, 2014 at 5:17 pm

I got pregnant naturally at 44 and delivered at 45. And just this past month I found out I was pregnant with twins – again conceived naturally – at the age of 50. Unfortunately, I miscarried them at 6 weeks. I am a very calm person with a positive outlook. I get at least 8 hours of sleep per night. I don’t smoke or drink. I take vitamins and supplements. And I have good genetic history. I think this is what made it favorable for me to be able to conceive at this age.

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Magnolia January 28, 2014 at 5:23 pm

Alisa, how wonderful you were able to conceive at mid-life. I conceived and gave birth at 43. However, I was not able to conceive again after that, though I tried in earnest.

Statistically, the chances of women conceiving well into her 40s is pretty low. But, obviously it *does* happen. You and I are both proof. I would guess that the reason you lost your babies at 6 weeks is because your progesterone levels were simply too low to maintain the pregnancy.

I’m also very sorry to hear that you lost your babies.

Magnolia

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