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Can unplanned pregnancies occur during menopause?

Patricia Geraghty, NP
Women's Health

A woman's fertility, or ability to get pregnant, becomes unpredictible as she nears menopause. The hormones from the ovaries and the brain that communicate and control the maturing and ovulation of eggs each cycle are less reliable. Overall, women ovulate less frequently but they may ovulate either earlier or later in the cycle. This means an unplanned pregnancy can occur while at the same time a planned pregnancy is more difficult to acheive.

Since many women are not aware they can still get pregnant as they approach menopause, they may not use contraception as carefully. A large study, the National Survey of Family Growth, showed that the rate of  unplanned pregnancies is highest in the teens, and the in the forties.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.