You still need to use contraception when going through perimenopause – or you could get pregnant with twins – RSVP Live
The menopause usually happens to women between 45 and 55 years of age, and the first symptom they’ll notice is their periods becoming irregular.
Menopause expert and retired obstetrician/gynecologist Barbara Taylor M.D. explained that women can suffer from “wacky” periods for between two and ten years.
“Then you might start having a few other things that get your attention, like you’re not sleeping very well, you might be irritable,” she told RSVP Live.
“You might start getting a bit forgetful and your brain might get foggy, like you can’t think clearly. You’ve lost your oestrogen.”
Barbara warns that you can still get pregnant during perimenopause, before you lose your oestrogen – and you’re actually more likely to have twins.
“When you’re in perimenopause, the only thing that has changed is loss of progesterone,” she said.
“You can still get pregnant and the reason you can still get pregnant is if your periods are wacky, everything is wacky.
“It’s like your hormones are on a rollercoaster. Oestrogen and progesterone and meant to have this perfect dance together. Suddenly one of the dance partners is gone.
“The oestrogen doesn’t know what to do so the hormones start firing like crazy, sometimes high, sometimes low – that can stimulate your ovaries in a crazy way.
“You ovulate occasionally, unpredictably, and you can get pregnant. It’s more common to have twins because everything is so wacky you can release two eggs.”
She said that in her career as a gynecologist, she dreaded telling women they were not actually going through the menopause – but pregnant with twins.
“I would generally tell them while backed up against the wall, ready to leave the room if I needed to get out…” she joked.
“These are women in their 40s, close to 50 and I have to tell them they are expecting twins – it’s not an easy time for them!”
She added that you have to use contraception if you want to avoid pregnancy before you fully reach the menopause.
“You can get pregnant during perimenopause but once you lose all your oestrogen, your egg factory and your hormone factory, which is your ovaries, has gone out of business completely.
“But you have to be fully there before you assume you can’t get pregnant.”
Check out Barbara’s website here and take a look at some of her helpful YouTube videos here.
This content was originally published here.