Can I have a baby after I hit menopause?
Are you entering your 40s and feeling the pressure to have children if you haven’t yet? Every woman will experience menopause and the process can start as early as the 30s or as late as the 50s. But, once you hit menopause and no longer have your period, is there still a chance you can get pregnant? The surprising answer is yes, but more on that later.
It’s good to note that during peri/menopause, which can take 7 to 10 years, a woman can get pregnant naturally. Celebrities like Halle Berry have shared that this happened to them.
So, make sure you keep using birth control through peri/menopause if you don’t want to get pregnant. Traditionally, birth control pills were not recommended for women over 40. Research now shows that there are some birth control pill options that could work during peri/menopause. It is best to discuss your birth control needs with your doctor to find the right option, from diaphragms and condoms to intrauterine devices (IUD) or tubal ligation (tubes tied). You’ll want to do the research to figure out what will work best for your body and lifestyle.
In general, if 12 months have passed without any period, a woman can no longer naturally get pregnant and have a child. This marks the time when there’s no need for birth control of any kind. Though condoms are always a good option for safer sex practices.
But, what if a woman is post-menopausal and interested in having a child…
What are the options to get pregnant after menopause?
IVF is currently the only way a menopausal woman can still carry a child. But, research is being conducted to find ways to reverse the menopause experience.
IVF is the only option because when a woman has hit menopause she is no longer producing eggs, so either a donor is needed for this process or the woman would have had her eggs previously frozen. There are numerous agencies that can connect women to egg donors, and there’s also the possibility that a family member could donate an egg.
What exactly is IVF?
The Mayo Clinic defines Invitro Fertilization (IVF) as a complex series of procedures used to help with fertility or prevent genetic problems and assist with the conception of a child. According to Mayo Clinic, the IVF procedure will retrieve mature eggs from ovaries and have them fertilized by sperm in a lab. Then, the fertilized egg (embryo) or eggs (embryos) are transferred to the uterus.How does IVF work?
- Retrieval (Note: Everything up to this point is all done with a donor since menopausal women no longer produce eggs.)
- Insemination and fertilization
- Embryo culture
- Embryo transfer
IVF is not 100% effective. A woman’s age has an effect on the success of the procedure.
Things to note:
Studies show that women having children between 50-63 experienced:
- gestational diabetes at a higher rate than the usual 5%.
- 78% gave birth via cesarean section.
- 35% rate of pregnancy-induced high blood pressure.
Other complications could be: developing infection, embolisms, hemorrhaging, strokes, and seizures.
Is it safe to have a baby after menopause?
Women 50 and above who are healthy and active have proven that they are able to have babies. It is something to discuss with your doctor to see if it’s a good fit for you.