20 Apr Pregnancy and the Perimenopause
I have recently had two messages about the photo of my on the home page of this site. Both messages said that they initially thought that I was pregnant in the photo and that it wasn’t until closer inspection they realised I was hugging my knees not a baby bump but had been initially confused as to why a pregnant woman would be talking about menopause?
So let’s clear something up, your menopause starts before your periods stop and many women during their Perimenopausal years get pregnant, naturally.
Phase one of Perimenopause starts around 35, by the time you are in your mid to late 40’s and you start to realise that there are noticeable changes to your menstrual cycle and your periods, you will have been in Perimenopause for a good few years. You probably hadn’t realised that the low mood, brain fog, sleep disruption, aching joints, painful sex, decrease in energy were all due to the changes in your ovarian function and decrease in your hormone levels, because you thought, like so many of us, that the menopause is something that happens in your 50s when your periods stop.
Your menopause is the last day of your last period and when you haven’t had a period for 12 clear months, you are deemed to be Postmenopause. So the whole conversation around menopause is really about the symptomatic Perimenopausal years leading up to that final bleed.
The quality and quantity of our eggs decline during Perimenopause along with the levels of our sex hormones oestrogen and progesterone, which makes it more difficult to conceive. We need Oestrogen to conceive and progesterone to sustain a pregnancy and without Oestrogen we may not ovulate and we only produce progesterone when we ovulate.
BUT it’s not impossible to conceive and have a baby in your mid to late 40’s. I know of two women who both had healthy TWINS naturally and out of the blue in their mid/late 40s – As ovulation becomes unpredictable it’s common to release two eggs!
So if you want to conceive, there is still hope, if you don’t want to get pregnant BE CAREFUL!