Yes, You Can Get Pregnant During Perimenopause [Odds and Risks] (2023)

Your fertility naturally declines as you age. After age 40, it becomes increasingly unlikely that you will conceive. But “unlikely” does not mean “impossible!” As long as you have not reached menopause, defined as the lack of a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months, you can still become pregnant.

Yes, You Can Get Pregnant During Perimenopause [Odds and Risks] (1)

What is perimenopause?

Perimenopause is the stage before or around menopause that is characterized as a transitional phase on the way to full menopause. While menopause is defined as having no period for at least a year, the transitional phase the body goes through leading up to this can be called perimenopause. Peri, from greek and latin meaning around, is used to describe the phase around menopause.

Women experience perimenopause at different ages, but changes in your cycle can start as early as your late 30’s and typically affect women during their 40’s. Although both part of the same life stage, menopause and perimenopause have different symptoms and therefore different treatment options.

Can you get pregnant during perimenopause?

Despite a decline in fertility during this stage, you can still become pregnant during perimenopause. Unless you are in full menopause it’s safe to assume you are still capable of conceiving during perimenopause.

Menopause is not an off switch, and although fluctuations in hormones and ovarian function may be hallmarks of perimenopause, they do not automatically spell the end of fertility.

(Video) Can You Get Pregnant After Menopause? Yes! Everything You need to Know About Menopausal Pregnancy

Declining and erratic hormone levels contribute to decreases in fertility, but natural conception is still possible for women until menopause is reached (we even wrote a guide to which sex positions to try when TTC). Pregnancy during perimenopause may have increased risk factors (along with decreased odds of success), but it is still very much possible to get pregnant during perimenopause.

Chances of pregnancy during perimenopause

The pregnancy rate for perimenopausal women is estimated to be 10-20 percent in women ages 40-44 and 12 percent in women ages 45-49. Unintentional pregnancy is rare in women over age 50, but you should still exercise caution. About 5 in 100 women having unprotected sexual intercourse at age 50 will become pregnant.

Fertility typically drops with age, especially after 35, but unless you are in full menopause, it’s reasonable to assume that you can still get pregnant (some can even get pregant when already pregnant). Birth rates for women ages 45 and above may be small, but national surveys still report that pregnancy is possible in midlife.

So, can you get pregnant during perimenopause? Absolutely, but there are factors to consider that will impact your chances of success. Even with the drop in estrogen, most women will continue to ovulate and menstruate during perimenopause, but periods may become irregular or less frequent. It’s possible to get pregnant as long as ovulation is still occurring, but the number and quality of eggs will continue to reduce over time.

Older women are also likely to have additional health factors that may interfere with conception such as high blood pressure, genetic predispositions or conditions of the cervix and ovaries. Regardless of age-related decline, your chances of pregnancy in perimenopause are greatly reduced, but not altogether impossible.

Risks of becoming pregnant during perimenopause

It’s also worth noting that there may be increased risks associated with pregnancy after age 40, including:

(Video) Perimenopause & Fertility


Miscarriages are more common than you might think: 12-15 percent of women who become pregnant in their 20s will suffer a miscarriage. The miscarriage rate also increases with age and pproximately 25 percent of pregnant women in their 40s will suffer a miscarriage. Doctors believe this may be due to lower levels of protective hormones like estrogen and progesterone in older women, as well as changes to the uterine lining and lower egg quality.

Premature birth

Premature birth is defined as giving birth anytime before 37 weeks of gestation. Even after controlling for other risk factors, research has found that women over age 40 are more likely to give birth prematurely. Mothers are also more likely to give birth prematurely if they suffer from complications like hypertension or placenta previa during pregnancy. Many of these conditions are more common in women over age 40 and can compound the risk of premature birth in older mothers.

Complications during pregnancy

The risks of pregnancy during perimenopause affect the mother as well as the fetus. Women over age 40 who become pregnant run a higher risk of developing complications such as gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, seizures, and death. Conditions like gestational diabetes and gestational hypertension are manageable but can be dangerous. Women in their 40s are also more likely to develop preeclampsia, a sudden increase in blood pressure after 20 weeks of pregnancy that can damage organs and lead to death.

These health conditions have long-term implications for the health of the mother and the infant. Chronic hypertension during pregnancy raises the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight, and gestational diabetes may increase your risk of delivering via C-section and developing type II diabetes later in life.

Women in perimenopause often wrongfully assume they cannot become pregnant; in fact, 75 percent of pregnancies in women in their 40s are unplanned. If you do not want to become pregnant during perimenopause, you should still use a birth control method until you reach menopause — and if you do want to become pregnant, you should speak to your OB/GYN about your personal risk factors.

Treatments and getting help

The good news is that there are a number of options and treatment plans to help with conception for women in perimenopause. Common options for treatment include medications, surgery, and IVF, but other lifestyle factors such as activity level and diet can also be reviewed to increase your chances of success.

(Video) Perimenopause, Can Women Become Pregnant During This?

Act quickly and speak to your OB/GYN to discuss the options available to you. Every woman is different and your healthcare practitioner can help you determine the best course of action.

Fertility during perimenopause

During perimenopause, your menstrual cycle may become irregular. The closer you get to menopause, the more time you will observe between each menstrual period. Your periods become fewer and far between due to anovulation, or the body’s failure to release an egg during the menstrual cycle.

In perimenopause, you may go several cycles without ovulating, but that does not mean you cannot ovulate at all. Women in perimenopause do, however, have fewer eggs. The quality of their eggs also declines, making it more difficult to get pregnant.

As soon as you ovulate, your fertile window also returns — and so do your chances of becoming pregnant. This means that you may go several menstrual cycles without ovulating during perimenopause, only to ovulate again months later.

Remember, menopause is defined as going at least 12 months without menstruating (meaning you have also gone 12 months without ovulating). You are less likely to get pregnant during perimenopause, but as long as it has not been 12 months since your last period, you may still be able to become pregnant.

If you do not want to get pregnant while perimenopausal, you should not assume that you have entered menopause if you do not ovulate or have a menstrual period for a few months. You will still need to use a reliable method of birth control to avoid becoming pregnant during perimenopause, even if you have gone several months without a menstrual period.

(Video) Liz Earle Mistook Her Pregnancy for the Menopause | Lorraine

Do you still ovulate during perimenopause?

While the level of estrogen in your body may rise and fall unevenly during perimenopause, estrogen is gradually on the decline and with that comes a decline in ovulation. As changes happen to your menstrual cycle, you may begin having cycles where an egg isn’t released – or ovulation doesn’t occur.

That doesn’t mean that ovulation has stopped altogether. Irregular periods may be the result of not ovulating every month, but your body is still able to ovulate, the schedule just might be more erratic.

Do you need contraceptives during perimenopause?

Unless you are absolutely sure you are in full menopause, getting pregnant is still a possibility and therefore contraceptives are essential. Whether you are using birth control or other methods of contraception, if you want to be sure you still need to use it. Some studies have found that over 75% of pregnancies in women over 40 are unplanned, so it’s important to assume you are fertile, unless proven otherwise.

How can you tell if you are pregnant during perimenopause?

Pregnancy and menopause share some similar symptoms, from the classic missed period, to fatigue and night sweats. So how can you tell if you are pregnant during perimenopause, or if your symptoms are the result of further transitioning in the process?

Pregnancy symptoms may differ from one woman (and pregnancy) to the next, but there are some symptoms seen in both pregnancy and menopause, while others are unique to pregnancy. Pregnancy symptoms like sensitive or swollen breasts, nausea, constipation, and food sensitivity should be followed up by an at home pregnancy test, and a trip to the doctor if warranted. While anyone can experience these symptoms, they are more often associated with pregnancy and a test with your doctor can confirm this.

Symptoms unique to menopause include irregular ovulation, vaginal dryness, and loss of bone mass. Although many of these can only be investigated with the help of your doctor, it’s important to understand the difference in symptoms so you can figure out what you are experiencing.

(Video) How Can You Get Pregnant After the Menopause? | This Morning


How likely is it to get pregnant during perimenopause? ›

Chances of pregnancy during perimenopause

The pregnancy rate for perimenopausal women is estimated to be 10-20 percent in women ages 40-44 and 12 percent in women ages 45-49. Unintentional pregnancy is rare in women over age 50, but you should still exercise caution.

Is it safe to get pregnant during perimenopause? ›

Although fertility is significantly diminished by the time people reach the perimenopausal transition, it is still possible to become pregnant. However, the follicular dysfunction associated with perimenopause means that it is harder to conceive during this time.

Can you ovulate during perimenopause? ›

Do you still ovulate during perimenopause? If you're still getting a period, even an irregular one, you're still ovulating. Until you haven't menstruated for 12 consecutive months, you should assume your body is still ovulating (releasing eggs).

What are the signs of pregnancy during perimenopause? ›

Expect to feel like you're pregnant (even if you're not). Perimenopause and pregnancy share several of the same symptoms including lack of periods, vaginal bleeding or spotting, weight gain, breast tenderness, headache and nausea.

What is the average age of perimenopause? ›

Perimenopause can begin in some women in their 30s, but most often it starts in women ages 40 to 44. It is marked by changes in menstrual flow and in the length of the cycle.

What are the signs that you are not ovulating? ›

A menstrual cycle that's too long (35 days or more), too short (less than 21 days), irregular or absent can mean that you're not ovulating. There might be no other signs or symptoms.

Is 48 too old to have a baby? ›

It's becoming more common. Having a baby after age 35 is more common than ever, but the buck doesn't stop there. Plenty of women are successfully having babies in their 40s and 50s, too.

What happens to ovaries during perimenopause? ›

Perimenopause refers to the years before menopause, when the ovaries gradually start to make less estrogen. During this time, estrogen levels fluctuate, which can cause heavy, irregular periods and cramping.

How do you track ovulation during perimenopause? ›

“Cycles get off-kilter during perimenopause due to changing hormone levels,” says Mason. “Tracking temperature changes and possibly using an ovulation predictor kit would be the best way to track ovulation.

What vitamins are good for perimenopause? ›

By incorporating natural supplements for perimenopause into your daily regimen, you can relieve the associated symptoms while also safeguarding your long-term health.
  • Phytoestrogens. ...
  • Calcium. ...
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) ...
  • Vitamin D. ...
  • Bioidentical hormones. ...
  • Vitamin E. ...
  • B vitamins. ...
  • Omega-3s.

What happens when you don't ovulate in perimenopause? ›

Your menstrual cycles may lengthen or shorten, and you may begin having menstrual cycles in which your ovaries don't release an egg (ovulate). You may also experience menopause-like symptoms, such as hot flashes, sleep problems and vaginal dryness. Treatments are available to help ease these symptoms.

Is ovulation worse during perimenopause? ›

Perimenopause brings on changes in your body, such as period irregularities, increased menstrual cramps, heavier blood flow, and ovulation pain. These changes can be unpleasant, interrupt your daily life, and may even be debilitating. Don't be embarrassed to talk to your healthcare provider about any of your symptoms.

Has anyone got pregnant naturally at 45? ›

Yes, it's possible to get pregnant at 45, though conceiving naturally is unlikely. A woman's prime fertility time is between her late teens and her 20s, and once you reach your mid-30s, your ability to get pregnant starts to decline.

Can you get pregnant at 47 years of age? ›

Pregnancy after age 45 years is infrequent and the mother and baby should be considered as a high risk. There is a greater incidence of spontaneous abortion, gestational trophoblastic disease and chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus.

What is the last stage of perimenopause? ›

The late stage is the transition to menopause which will be when women begin to miss their periods until they finally stop. Your body may start to show signs that perimenopause is ending during the last few years.

Does having a baby at 40 delay menopause? ›

Age at menopause increased with increasing number of childbirths up to three childbirths; however, we found no further increase in age at menopause beyond three childbirths. Pregnancies interrupt ovulation, and a high number of pregnancies have therefore been assumed to delay menopause.

Is perimenopause normal at 45? ›

Chances are, if you're between the ages of 45-50, your irregular periods are a sign of perimenopause. The average age a woman starts the menopausal transition is 47. While we cannot predict when this will occur for you, the age your mother began to experience symptoms may be a good indicator.

How do you test if a woman is infertile? ›

Tests to find out the cause of infertility in women include:
  1. Blood tests. Samples of your blood can be tested for a hormone called progesterone to check whether you're ovulating. ...
  2. Chlamydia test. Chlamydia is an STI that can affect fertility. ...
  3. Ultrasound scan. ...
  4. X-ray. ...
  5. Laparoscopy.

Can you see eggs in period blood? ›

The eggs are super tiny — too small to see with the naked eye. During your menstrual cycle, hormones make the eggs in your ovaries mature — when an egg is mature, that means it's ready to be fertilized by a sperm cell.

What is the best fertility drug to get pregnant? ›

Clomiphene citrate.

Taken by mouth, this drug stimulates ovulation by causing the pituitary gland to release more FSH and LH , which stimulate the growth of an ovarian follicle containing an egg. This is generally the first line treatment for women younger than 39 who don't have PCOS .

What is the oldest age a woman can get pregnant naturally? ›

By age 30, fertility (the ability to get pregnant) starts to decline. This decline happens faster once you reach your mid-30s. By 45, fertility has declined so much that getting pregnant naturally is unlikely.

What's the oldest a woman has conceived naturally? ›

The oldest verified mother to conceive naturally (listed currently as of 26 January 2017 in the Guinness Records) is Dawn Brooke (Guernsey); she conceived a son at the age of 59 years in 1997.

Who got pregnant naturally at 47? ›

A New Zealand woman became a first-time mum at the age of 47 after mistaking the early signs of pregnancy for menopause, according to reports. At 44, Christchurch-based beauty therapist Tania Behrns closed the door on the possibility of becoming a parent as she assumed she had passed her window of conceiving.

How long is too long for a period during perimenopause? ›

How long is too long for a period during perimenopause? Long cycles are common during perimenopause and can be as long as 38 days or more. If you're experiencing one, speak with your doctor.

When should I go to the doctor for perimenopause? ›

If you notice abnormal reproductive or menstrual symptoms like the following, see a doctor, since they might indicate a more serious condition: Having periods that repeatedly occur fewer than three weeks (21 days) apart. Experiencing menstrual bleeding for more than seven days at a time.

Does your uterus hurt during perimenopause? ›

Because estrogen levels often rise during perimenopause, this can cause your uterus to release more prostaglandin, which can increase the likelihood and severity of your cramps (also known as dysmenorrhea). Cramps may also be a sign of another condition, including: Endometriosis. Adenomyosis.

What are periods like during perimenopause? ›

When your estrogen levels are low, your uterine lining is thinner. Bleeding, as a result, may be lighter and last fewer days. Short cycles are more common in the earlier stages of perimenopause. For example, you may have a period that's 2 or 3 days shorter than normal.

What is the fertility treatment for perimenopause? ›

Fertility options for menopausal women

During perimenopause, fertility treatments like IVF may be able to help a woman achieve pregnancy, but due to poor quality eggs as a result of the woman's age, egg donation may still be recommended to produce healthy embryos.

How can I survive perimenopause naturally? ›

You can survive and thrive during this change and experience menopause on your own terms by learning ways to relieve your symptoms.
  1. Follow a healthy diet. ...
  2. Stabilize blood sugar throughout the day. ...
  3. Increase vitamin D. ...
  4. Eliminate caffeine, alcohol, and refined sugars. ...
  5. Drink plenty of water. ...
  6. Exercise regularly.
Apr 1, 2019

What is the best natural remedy for perimenopause? ›

12 natural remedies for menopause
  • Focus on plants. Studies suggest that plant-based diets may help reduce hot flashes and night sweats, as well as improve physical and sexual health. ...
  • Include healthy proteins. ...
  • Drink more water. ...
  • Licorice. ...
  • Anise. ...
  • Fennel. ...
  • Pollen extract. ...
  • Black cohosh.
Feb 13, 2023

What color is period during perimenopause? ›

In this phase, menstrual blood ranges in color from dark brown to bright red. You might notice brown discharge or perimenopause brown spotting throughout the month. The texture of your discharge will also vary from thin and watery to thick and clumpy.

Do breast get bigger during perimenopause? ›

During perimenopause, the hormonal fluctuations are more dramatic. It is also common for breasts to get bigger or smaller or to change in shape during this period.

Does a 45 year old woman still ovulate? ›

For most people, estrogen levels begin to fall gradually when they are in their 40s. A person will continue to ovulate and menstruate, but periods may become irregular or less frequent.

What is the best treatment for perimenopause? ›

Hormone therapy.

Systemic estrogen therapy — which comes in pill, skin patch, spray, gel or cream form — remains the most effective treatment option for relieving perimenopausal and menopausal hot flashes and night sweats.

Is there a surge of fertility before menopause? ›

Is there a surge in fertility in the years immediately prior to menopause? It is possible that there may be a slight relative increase as the body naturally stimulates the ovaries more aggressively. This phenomenon, however, has not been rigorously examined and confirmed.

What are the chances of getting pregnant at 45 naturally? ›

45 and Older

At 45, a female's likelihood of getting pregnant is no more than 3% or 4%. That's not to say it's impossible, but assisted reproductive technologies (ART) are almost always necessary, with IVF being the most common.

Can you get pregnant at 52 years old naturally? ›

Getting Pregnant After 50

If you are trying to get pregnant after age 50, you will probably need some fertility help. While it's not impossible to become pregnant naturally at 50, it is very rare. Women are born with all of the eggs they will ever have.

Can you get pregnant during menopause with no period? ›

Once you've reached menopause, your LH and FSH levels remain high and your estrogen and progesterone levels remain low. You no longer ovulate and you cannot conceive a child.

When are you least likely to get pregnant? ›

The days before and during menstruation are the least fertile days of the menstrual cycle. People with a menstrual cycle that is shorter than 28 days could ovulate within days of their period ending. Menstrual cycles may shorten with age, particularly after the age of 35 years .

Are you still ovulating at 45? ›

For most people, estrogen levels begin to fall gradually when they are in their 40s. A person will continue to ovulate and menstruate, but periods may become irregular or less frequent.

Is a 45 year old woman still fertile? ›

Can you get pregnant at 45? Yes, it's possible to get pregnant at 45, though conceiving naturally is unlikely. A woman's prime fertility time is between her late teens and her 20s, and once you reach your mid-30s, your ability to get pregnant starts to decline.

Can I have a healthy baby at 46? ›

Pregnancy in Your 40s

If you get pregnant after 35 years old, experts call this an “advanced maternal age” pregnancy. But it's still possible to get pregnant and deliver a healthy baby in your 40s. Childbirth at older ages has become more common too. Since the 1990s, birth rates in people aged 40-44 have gone up.

At what age do men stop producing sperm? ›

Although men never stop producing sperm throughout their lives, sperm production does begin decreasing after age 35. Motility, volume and genetic quality of sperm of older men are less likely to achieve a successful pregnancy even in younger women.

Has anyone got pregnant at 46? ›

Her doctors suspected pregnancy, but she said “I'm too old to have children. I am probably going through menopause.” Thompson was 7 1/2 months along and gave birth to her son via emergency C-section just 24 hours after her initial visit with the doctor.

How long before menopause does fertility decline? ›

Generally, reproductive potential decreases as women get older, and fertility can be expected to end 5 to 10 years before menopause. In today's society, age-related infertility is becoming more common because, for a variety of reasons, many women wait until their 30s to begin their families.


1. I Had a Baby at 47 After Going Through the Menopause | This Morning
(This Morning)
2. Your chances of falling pregnant after 40
(Fertility Homeopath)
3. Over 45 & Naturally Pregnant? Yes!
(Coach Ariel Andersson)
4. Fertility 101: How to increase your chances of pregnancy
5. Chances Of Getting Pregnant After 40 - Fertile Minds
(Fertile Minds)
6. Pregnant naturally at 43
(Dr. Marc Sklar - FertilityTV)
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