Pregnancy And Menopause

Your fertility decreases as you get older and in the run up to menopause, your last period, your oestrogen levels fall and your periods tend to become increasingly sporadic. Although your fertility may be reduced and you may not be having regular periods, it is still possible to get pregnant during perimenopause; this is the stage that precedes menopause and it can last up to 10 years, although the average duration is 4 years.

Can I still get pregnant?

Menopause is not technically diagnosed until 12 months after your last period in women aged over 50 and 24 months in women under 50, and it is possible to get pregnant while you are experiencing symptoms of menopause during perimenopause, the precursor to menopause. At this stage, your levels of oestrogen are falling, but you are likely to still be fertile and you will still be having periods, even if they are infrequent or irregular. It is possible to get pregnant right up until your last period; after menopause, your ovaries will not release eggs and there is therefore no chance of fertilisation.

If you are going through perimenopause, your chances of conceiving will be low, as your oestrogen levels are falling, particularly in the last 12-24 months before menopause; however, it is still technically possible for you to conceive and if you don't want to add to your family, it is advisable to use contraception. Ideally, you shouldn't stop using contraceptives until menopause if you don't want to fall pregnant. If you are unsure, ask your GP for advice; they will be able to run through possible options for contraceptive treatments with you. Sometimes, taking contraceptives can also help to ease some of the symptoms associated with menopause and perimenopause, including hot flushes.

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