Pregnancy at menopause

Menopause

According to experts, the best age to become pregnant is 25. I’m talking in biological terms.

The reason is the conditions in which the woman’s organism is at that age, which are optimal for the gestation of a small human being.

According to statistics, the average age that mothers choose to be mothers is 32.2 years old; a little far from what seems to be ideal. The reality is that the further away the so-called “ideal age” is, the greater the complications of pregnancy tend to be.

Many women think that it is totally impossible to get pregnant having the symptoms of menopause, however there are opposite cases in which elderly women have successful pregnancies and healthy children.

Whatever the case, it is possible to be pregnant with menopause, you must know some terms such as perimenopause and it is necessary to know the risks of pregnancy in this state for the health of the mother and the baby.

Is Perimenopause and Menopause the same thing?

The woman’s low production of estrogen and progesterone over the years is what makes the task of getting pregnant naturally more difficult.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists defines menopause as the absence of menstrual periods for one year. In this sense, the average age of menopause in the United States is 51.

The end of menopause is nothing more than the total stopping of a woman’s reproductive functions; this is generated by changes in her hormonal and internal system. Changes that are propitiated by the degeneration of the body with advancing age.

On average, women begin to suffer symptoms from the age of 40 and progressively increase until total cessation of ovarian function. This transition period between the onset of symptoms and the complete cessation of the ovulation system is called perimenopause.

This means that it would be right to say that you can get pregnant naturally during perimenopause. During perimenopause, women continue to ovulate and have menstrual periods, as well as secrete hormones such as estrogens and progesterones necessary to become pregnant naturally.

Can you get pregnant during menopause?

When the secretion of hormones stops completely, it is impossible for a woman with menopause to become pregnant naturally. However, by using assisted reproduction techniques, this can be achieved.

This, of course, does not have the same chance of success as a normal pregnancy, however technological advances allow the best approach to the evolutionary process of the fetus in a normal way and thus reduce the possibility of failure.

Assisted reproductive techniques include egg donation as well as treatment for the production of necessary hormones. This is possible because although the ovaries stop producing, the uterus does not age and can host embryos without any problem.

It is important to emphasize that it is not only a matter of injecting the donated eggs into the menopausal woman, but also to be very sure that her organism is prepared to receive and fertilize them. The success of the pregnancy will depend on the health and physical resistance of the mother, as well as the chemical efforts of the laboratory that performs the procedure.

What are the risks of pregnancy in menopause?

It is necessary to clarify that the risks of a woman who becomes pregnant during menopause are similar to those of any pregnancy. However, the “aging” state of your body aggravates certain aspects of these risks by making them more possible.

The risks of pregnancy during menopause are:

  1. Mortality

According to the Spanish Association for the Study of Menopause, after the age of 50 the risk of mortality of both mother and foetus increases considerably, as well as the probability that the baby suffers from diseases and syndromes.
In this sense, there is also the possibility that certain pathologies may worsen gestation or complicate childbirth. To this are added the pathologies that the mother suffers, such as hypertension or diabetes that represent greater risks for the health of both.

  1. Pregnancy is always “high risk”.

According to the Spanish Association for the Study of Menopause, pregnancy from the age of 50 is always considered “high risk” and requires closer care and greater probabilities of abortion until the end of pregnancy.

  1. Miscarriage

The organism of a woman with menopause is naturally not conditioned to fertilize a life. It is therefore normal that even if care is being taken to the utmost, the woman may suffer a miscarriage. This is because the body has difficulty assimilating the extra burden despite the external aid that may be being provided.

  1. Premature placental abruption

The placenta is the medium that connects the baby to its mother’s womb. Through this connection, the baby receives the nutrients, blood, and oxygen needed for proper gestation. At birth, this placenta detaches from the inner wall of the uterus to deliver the baby.

The detachment may be partial or total and each has its own consequences.

In pregnant women with menopause the risk of this happening before time is much greater because of the aging conditions of the uterine walls.

  1. Fetal death

It is also called intrauterine death. It happens when a baby is simply stillborn. That is, it usually develops over 20 weeks and then the baby is known to be dead. There are many reasons why this may occur. This happens to 1 in 160 pregnant women of all ages.

However, one of them is the mother’s state of health (she may suffer from hypertension or diabetes), restrictions on the baby’s growth, infections, and other conditions whose risks increase when the pregnant woman goes through menopause.

  1. Gestational diabetes

Diabetes is a type of diabetes that some women develop during pregnancy. It is developed by 2 out of 10 women and is the result of non-production (or incomplete production) of insulin. This is due to hormonal changes.

The reason this is so common in pregnant women with menopause is that the hormones your body is receiving are mostly chemical, so your body may not assimilate them the same way and end up messing up some to make up for others.

  1. Pre-placenta

This is when the placenta is located too close to the cervix, preventing all or part of its opening. This prevents natural childbirth under any circumstances and therefore it is necessary to resort to caesarean section childbirth.

The likelihood of this happening increases when the conception of the fetus is in-vitro (as are all pregnancies with menopause), given the placement of the fertilized ovary into the mother’s uterus.

  1. Restricted fetal growth

It is the term used to define a baby that does not grow as it should during gestation because the placenta does not function properly. This could mean that the baby is born underweight because the feeding (which the placenta takes care of) is not appropriate.

At the same time, the child may suffer from other types of illnessat birth, these may be related to the size of his organs and the distribution of resources by his body.

  1. That the baby suffers some syndrome or is born prematurely

According to statistics, the risk of a child suffering from genetic disorders increases considerably with age.  For example, 1 in 82 pregnant women at age 40 had a baby with Down syndrome, while 1 in 30 pregnant women at age 45 had a baby with the same condition.

In this sense, the gestation of a baby in the “ideal” age of a woman is not the same as at 45 to 50 years, even with all the necessary care. Therefore, the baby suffers the risk of being born too early, that its organs do not form completely or that its weight is not ideal for someone of its age.

What does it take to have a baby with menopause?

  1. Donated eggs: Since the menopausal woman can no longer produce her own eggs, it is essential to obtain a donor with the optimum characteristics for the fertilization of the baby.
  2. Hormones / Intensive hormone therapy: It is necessary to have a detailed control of the necessary hormones in the organism so that the baby is formed in a correct way and the health of the mother remains stable.
  3. Narrow birth control: It is necessary to emphasize the close control by a doctor who knows the case and the health of the mother who wishes to become pregnant during menopause. This helps to have a detailed control of possible complications and therefore a strategy to combat them in the event of any emergency.
  4. Cesarean Delivery: Natural delivery is already difficult in women with a young age and physical condition. Although it is not impossible, pregnant women with menopause are recommended to deliver by caesarean section, because it is less aggressive with the body in the sense of the necessary physical effort and conditions of stretching, opening of the cervix, among others.
  5. Post-operative care: Care after the birth of the child is key to the mother’s subsequent health. An elderly woman requires more rest than a young woman. This same logic applies to pregnancies.

CONCLUSION:

While pregnancy at menopause is at greater risk, it may be successful with medical care and surveillance, as well as continuous monitoring of the stages by the expectant mother.

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