Everything You Need to Know About Menopausal Pregnancy

Image for post
Image for post

Menopausal pregnancy. It’s something celebrities have been doing for decades, but very few (if any) have talked about it truthfully.

It’s time to let the proverbial cat out of the bag. What is menopausal pregnancy? What does it mean for you?

I’m tired of people being misguided, misled, fooled, and duped. What we see in the news and what we think we know about a celebrity pregnancy is often only half of the true story. Yet, sadly we many times take this to be the full story. I’m here to tell you the medical facts. To illuminate for you what is scientifically possible.

My goal is to uncover the truth, and ensure the truth is what you let guide you in creating the family of your dreams.

Let’s dig into this topic. Starting with what menopause is.

This is what people think. When I say, “menopausal pregnancy” it may sound confusing. Even impossible. This isn’t a diagnosis you’ll find in medical text books but something that is happening more and more and there’s no better time than now to talk about it. Those two words don’t typically go together. But I’m here to tell you that the impossible is possible. How? By using donated eggs, embryos, or your own eggs that you’ve frozen at a younger age.

The facts are that women are getting pregnant later in their life. My grandmother was around 18 when she had my mom. My mom had me around 26. I had my first child at 32. Most of my patients are 40 when they want to start or continue to expand their families. I’m sure you can see what I’m getting at.

If the trend towards pregnancy later in life continues then in another generation, most women will be in menopause (their eggs will be gone) when they’re looking to start a family.

But technology hasn’t changed. Aside from using donated eggs or their own frozen eggs, I do not have a tool in my medical toolbox that helps me get women pregnant once their own eggs are gone.

Suffice to say, I want to educate people about this. I don’t want you to be that person that’s waiting until you’re 48 to have a baby just to do IVF with me and realize that there is no chance. I’m here to tell you that it’s normal to not be able to have kids with your eggs at 48 because odds are you’ve run out. Menopause is a normal biological process. It isn’t something that you can reverse. It is inevitable.

There is no amount of supplements or medicine (coq10, DHEA, HGH) that you can take to regrow eggs. As I’ve said jokingly in the past today there is no BOTOX for your ovaries. It’s unfortunate but true! As we age eggs deplete, just as the collagen in our skin does. But we can’t get those eggs back like we can reduce wrinkles on our foreheads!

Who knows what the future holds. Perhaps one day we can use stem cells and extract them from bone marrow and inject them into ovaries. For now, we have to be creative when it comes to family building in menopause.

From now on when a celebrity in their 50s is having a pregnancy and not talking about how that’s happening I will make it my mission to expose the truth.

I will re-post that story with what’s really going on. I’ll use hashtags, blog posts, and host shows like this one. Whatever it takes to ensure the truth is told so that it can lead to less confusion and heartache for my future patients. I don’t want to see patients that come to me confused as to why Hollywood stars are able to have children at 50, but they can’t.

The truth is that these celebrities at a certain age are either using donated eggs or embryos or their own frozen (younger) eggs.

Please read that and remember it. I don’t want any confusion about this. I’m not being harsh — I’m hoping to set you up for success and to plan your fertility goals according to this scientific fact.

What do you do if you’re reading this, did not freeze your eggs, and are already in menopause and hoping to get pregnant? You can still get pregnant with donor eggs.

We use hormones like estrogen and progesterone to thicken the lining of the uterus to mimic pregnancy so that we can put an embryo inside the uterus that the uterus will accept.

However, let the record show that you can be 50 and super healthy and at that age, a pregnancy still has increased risks. Things like preeclampsia, preterm labor and delivery delivery, cardiac problems, the list goes on and on. If a healthy woman wants to get pregnant who am I to prevent them?

As a society, we look at an older man having a child with an older woman as cute. Often the same is not true for an older woman having a child with a younger man. But why not? I look at that situation and think, “you go, girl — have that baby you’ve always wanted and become a mom!”

But don’t be fooled by these menopause pregnancies and thinking they’re doing it on their own.

Menopause = your eggs are gone.

I have patients come to me at 45 and still want a baby or they want another one.

Talk to a fertility doctor. Get your fertility checked at a younger age. I hope to decrease the heartache and talk about things that are true so people aren’t fooled by what they see about celebrities.

We live longer, we wait to have kids. Most people have menopause at 50, but some reach it at 40. That’s normal. It’s biology. There’s nothing wrong with you!

I want you to understand your options up front so there isn’t heartbreak that continues.

Menopausal pregnancy is a thing people do. It will be the new normal. In a generation to come many people will be having pregnancies when they’ve run out of eggs. Why? Because they will have frozen their eggs.

For now, most people are getting pregnant using donated eggs.

Fertility really does change between each age…40, 41, 42, or 43.

Newsflash: you don’t need ovaries to get pregnant. Your ovaries don’t need to be working. You don’t need to be getting a period. You don’t need fallopian tubes. You just need a uterus and healthy embryos.

One day I’m going to say you’ll need to find a man that will want a uterine transplant. Until then, I’ll just have to joke about that.

The phrase menopausal pregnancy. Does it throw you off? Is it confusing? I get it! People think of getting pregnant as something that has to do with periods. But you can mimic ovulation with hormones. We give women hormones all of the time. We follow recipes for this.

If you are super healthy, fit, have normal preconception labs then your fertility doctor will clear you for pregnancy whether you’re 45 or even 50.

Talk to your fertility doctor and have an open conversation.

Prior to this show I had created a list and was going to talk about celebrities who I believe have used donated eggs, embryos, or their own frozen eggs. But then, I deleted it. Who am I to talk about someone else’s pregnancy?

There are exceptions to that rule though as I do like to applaud celebrities who share openly about their fertility journeys and even are honest about how they get pregnant at an older age. This is something to celebrate. Every pregnancy is something to celebrate, but particularly in sharing the truth. I love that.

For what it’s worth, I think every pregnancy is natural. It doesn’t matter how you got pregnant or where the embryo came from. It is natural. Don’t let anyone tell you differently or make you feel differently.

LOVE. Your DNA is optional.

That’s how menopausal pregnancy pretty much always occurs. IVF medicine is full of miracles. But the miracle has not yet occurred where we can create eggs in a menopausal woman. When the eggs are gone, they are gone. Again, this is not meant to discourage, but to inspire you to act in ways to preserve your fertility when you’re young or be open-minded to alternative options like egg or embryo donation.

As always, I hope that you learned a lot from this show and will tell your friends.

Get your levels checked and consider freezing your eggs or embryos by a certain age. Thank you!

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Visit my website or send me a note if you have any questions for me or suggestions for future show topics: email@eggwhisperer.com

You can also catch more of me and topics like this through the Egg Whisperer Show. The episodes are live-streamed on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter and on Wednesdays at 7 PM PST. Subscribe to the podcast too!

Fertility Doctor, Reproductive Endocrinologist, Egg Whisperer: www.eggwhisperer.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store