Menopause is the time when females stop having their periods and are no longer considered fertile. The age at which menopause sets in for women is variable and while some might experience menopause in their late thirties others might have to wait till their early fifties.
It is impossible to know exactly when menopause has hit and it is generally defined being free of periods for 12 months.
Pregnancy During The Perimenopause And Menopause
Before a woman actually hits menopause, there is a variable amount of time during which the body undergoes a number of hormonal and physical changes. This time is described as perimenopause.
Periods can start becoming highly irregular for women during this time and some might even mistakenly think that they have hit the menopause. For some women it can be something to look forward to since they have no interest in conception and are still sexually active, thus, can avoid any artificial contraceptive methods. For others, it is a cause of concern because they still want to conceive and have a natural pregnancy.
For women who are not interested in conceiving a child, this is a dangerous time since even though the frequency of ovulation is less, it does occur from time to time. Technically, the woman can get pregnant during perimenopause even though the likelihood of it happening is decidedly lower than when the woman was younger.
For women who want conceive during this time, they should remember that the chances of a natural conception are low and that they will likely have to look for assisted reproduction methods.
Technically speaking, it is difficult for a woman to get pregnant as they get older because they are born with all the eggs they will ever produce. As the eggs age inside the body, the chances of them having chromosomal abnormalities also increase.
There is also the fact that an older woman’s body is less able to tolerate a pregnancy than a younger woman.
Symptoms Of Menopause
Hot flashes: These are typical symptoms felt during menopause. A woman might suddenly feel hot and start to sweat, while cold shivering can quickly follow afterward. It can be enough to wake a person from sleep.
Vaginal changes: Some women might find that their natural lubrication has become reduced and that they have a harder time enjoying intercourse without the use of external lubricants. Urinary incontinence is also something that some women complain of after hitting menopause.
Change in sex drive: A change in sex drive may be apparent after hitting menopause, although the exact change may vary. Some women start to feel sexually aroused more often while other notice a drop in their sex drive.
Women and their partners should remember that even though contraception is no longer needed, condoms should be used during intercourse (particularly with newer partners) to protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
Frequent mood changes: The exact reason why this happens is still unknown. Scientists feel that a combination of changing hormones, aging, growing families and possibly depression may all be related to this occurrence.
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