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Menopause and Fertility: A Family Planning Quiz

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 20 Nov 2012 | comments*Discuss
Menopause Fertility Family Planning

There seem to be a lot of misconceptions around menopause but particularly so when it comes to the facts about menopause and fertility. Many women are either confused or simply unaware of how fertility changes as they age.

If you are simply curious to know more about fertility or you have serious, family planning questions, then you should take a menopause and fertility quiz to find out just what you already know about menopause and where your knowledge has been led astray.

Does Fertility Only Decline Just Before Menopause?

If you answered yes, then you are like many women who think that their fertility only declines when they start to experience the symptoms of menopause. However, your fertility actually declines much earlier, typically from your thirties onwards. It isn't to say that you can't conceive in your thirties and forties, of course, but it does mean that it can be more difficult and require much more time and effort relative to your younger years.

Can I Get Pregnant Once I Experience Menopause Symptoms?

While some women think that menopause symptoms signal the decline of fertility, others believe it means they are completely infertile and can't become pregnant. For women who do not want to have children at this time, stopping birth control because you think you can't get pregnant is a huge mistake.

It's true that your fertility is poor at this time but you could still ovulate and become pregnant. This means that although you might want to revaluate your current birth control method, you should ensure that you continue to properly and consistently use an effective form of birth control if you do not want to become pregnant.

Do Women 'Run Out' of Eggs When They Reach Menopause?

A number of women think that when they finally reach menopause, it means they have essentially 'run out' of eggs. Women are born with hundreds of thousands of eggs but when they reach menopause, they no longer respond to the hormones that trigger eggs to mature in the ovaries prior to being released during ovulation.

Are Women Fertile Throughout the Month?

Although menopause brings with it many symptoms such as hot flushes and irregular menstrual periods, in a typical month, a woman will only be fertile in a window of a few days around the time of ovulation.

The thing to keep in mind is that during the menopausal transition, ovulation is irregular, which means that those who do not want to become pregnant must continue to use birth control. Alternately, women who do want to become pregnant at this time will find that their rapidly declining fertility makes it difficult although certainly not impossible.

Making the Right Choices

Each woman will experience menopause at some point but for those planning a family, especially later in life, they need to know the facts about menopause and fertility. This will allow the best chance of success for conceiving and having a family. Women who want to avoid a pregnancy should continue to use birth control although the hormonal changes of menopause and resulting symptoms might warrant a closer look at your current method of birth control and a change in your method.

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