Concerned: 43, Am I Going Through Early Stages of Menopause? Can I Conceive?

Updated on May 20, 2010
J.R. asks from Washington, DC
12 answers

A friend of mine said that I may be going through early stages of menopause and I am very sad as i want another child. We have a beautiful 18 month old. I am 43, bfeeding our toddler, and my periods, while occurring monthly, can be erratic --- occuring every 4-6 weeks and lasting about 6 days. (as an aside, my periods were never regular and could be heavy while under stress, and light when I was exercising a great deal)

If I have started menopause -- can I still conceive?

I have an appointment with my obgyn on Friday, but would be glad to get any insight til then...

Thank you for your input and advice.

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So What Happened?

Just wanted to say thanks to the already informative and supportive responses in the first 2 hours. I already feel much better, less worried and relieved. I also already ordered the books recommended and will consider other ideas as well. Thanks mommas. Warmest wishes to all.

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answers from Sarasota on

J., I also have an 18 month old and am 44. My cycles are also a bit more irregular now than in the past. I think that is normal as you age, but does not mean you are necessarily going through menopause. One month I can have a short cycle, next month long, etc. and my periods can be longer or shorter too. Have you tried using the Clear Blue fertility monitor? I think this is an excellent device and it tells you more about when you ovulate and high and peak fertility times, etc. I used this to get pregnant the first time around and am still monitoring my cycle now 'just in case'. Let me know if you would like to stay in touch as we have things in common. Please feel free to send me a private message if interested!

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answers from Kansas City on

It sounds more like perimenopause which is just the beginning stages. That can last a great many years. Our bodies do become less fertile as we age. But many twins and triplets come to woman in their 40's. The body can release more than one egg and often does it more with older woman.

I want to say that you are my hero! I am 43 and would love to have another of my own. My kids think I'm weired and my husband says no way. They are always telling me I'm too old.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Barnstable on

I met a lovely lady who had her son NATURALLY (no drugs or fertility treatments) at 50!!!! He was perfect!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

You can conceive until your monthly cycles end completely (menopause). Perimenopause (the time before menopause and more likely what you may be experiencing) is still a very fertile time, though you may have some annovulatory (no ovulation) cycles making it difficult to conceive when *you* are ready. So you may have a regularly fertile month, then the next month things on the surface or the same, but you may not ovulate making conception impossible. This is common stuff during perimenopause becuase your body may have shifting hormone levels, making it more challenging for your body to produce an egg each cycle. But rest assured, most doctors say it isn't over until it's actually over - you are no longer having any period at all for 6 month or longer.

There is no way to know if this is happening unless you chart your daily temperatures (using the natural family planning method) or you have a series of blood tests done to check your homone levels (a doctor will draw blood several times during one or more cycles to measure hormone levels).

So in short, it may be a little more difficult to get pregnant during the perimenopause years, it is not impossible. It just becomes more challenging getting the timing down as cycles may become more unpredictible. So if you want to conceive, continue taking prenatal vitamins, refrain from smoking and drinking, exercise and eat right so you will always be at your optimum health.

There are many great books out there on the topic of fertility and life stages. Read any books by Shelia Kipley, or Toni Weschler (sp?). They will help ease your mind and may even help with conception.

I highly recommend "Take charge of your fertility" by Toni Weschler and "Fertility, Cycles, and Nutrition" by Marilyn Shannon. "The Art of Natural Family Planning" by Shelia Kipley.

It is little known fact, that using Natural Family Planning can greatly improve your ability to conceive despite age. You may want to find a OB who understands and uses the Creighton Method of Natural Family Planning. Do a google search, and you should find one in your area. Otherwise, go to and contact a clinic in your area. They should be able to refer you to an OB in your area that can help you.

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answers from Las Vegas on

hello..... stop the presses!! you may or may not be beginning the stages of menopause and only a blood test for your hormones can truly indicate as such.. HOWEVER... even "if" you were beginning peri-menopause...... as long as you are still ovulating, there is still a chance of becoming pregnant as will all women tell you especially those whom at this time are in their 40s and trying to conceive.... With that said, your doctor may tell you that it does become harder to become pregnant in your 40s... which of course, you are probably already aware. Periods do change throughout one's lifetime and could be that yours are in fact changing and yes, things like stress can affect it.. I would suggest a couple of things, one DO get those blood tests... two, once you stop breastfeeding, DO chart your cycles to truly find out IF you are ovulating... and this way, you can get a better and bigger picture of what's going on from month to month with your cycles. A good book is , " Take Charge of Your Fertility" it's good even IF one isn't trying to become pregnant in that I think some women (not all) think the period is the main event, when in fact it's merely only part of it... especially when trying to conceive as you begin to learn that ovulation is VERY important and or progesterone levels and estrogen....
Lastly, now, this is just my own personal opinion.. but IF you are considering having another child.. start now........................ not sure if you conceived your first one easily and hence there could be this thinking that it will happen easily again and not to discourage you, but .... it doesn't always happen as easily on the second try... I say.. start now.... of course, see what your doctor says.. Also, there are many websites out there these days filled with women in their 40s who are or have conceived.. one of which is fertileover40... many of those women have been told.. you hit menopause.. don't even try.. or your too old, your chances are slim to none.. but those women have proven the doctors and naysayers wrong..
try and remain positive and realistic...... the both come in hand ...

best of luck to you

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answers from Indianapolis on

I would ask your OB/GYN what signs to look for in perimenopause. They'll also be able to explain the viability of eggs and the risks (which you likely know with an 18 month-old).

It's completely possible - I know of several women who began the process of menopause in their early 40s, but it's not typical.

Here's what WebMD says about the signs of Menopause (that affect all women different). Irregular periods can be one sign.

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answers from Minneapolis on

The obgyn won't have anything hopeful to tell you. After 30, a woman's egg supply begins taking a nose dive. However, some women still conceive so there's no absolute.

Also check into alternative medical options as well. You may find a nice fit with accupuncture or a naturopath, for example. Each has their own area of expertise and an accomplished doctor in any field will be a good resource.

Good luck, relax and take care of yourself along the way.

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answers from Miami on

Friends can be a great support system when we need them but they can offer bad advice and/or suggestions causing needless concern and / or worry. What makes your friend qualified to determine that you may be in early menopause? If it's God's will for you to conceive, then you will conceive. Talk to your doctor as he/she will be the best to help you determine where your body is.

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answers from Miami on

Of course you can!!! There are so many people out there that have what is called menopause babies. Remember it only takes one egg so if you're still getting a period, you can get pregnant. I wouldn't stress out over it; enjoy your baby and if it happens, it happens; unless you want to speed it up and do IVF.

I have heard of quite of a few women who thought they were done and got pregnant late fourties, and at fifty.

Babies are a blessing.

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answers from Norfolk on

I wouldn't think of peri menopause yet unless you've begun with hot flashes. And as long as you are still having periods, it's possible to get pregnant. It might be harder to get pregnant as you get older but it's not impossible. If you want another child, you should probably start trying asap, and ease off the breast feeding. 18 months is a pretty good run. Your OB/GYN and a few blood tests should be able to tell you the specifics of what's going on with you.

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answers from Jacksonville on

After three years of hot flashes, mood swings, irregular periods and down to three or four periods a year, guess what? Pregnancy tests came up negative, so I didn't worry. My fifth month of no period, my daughter started kicking :) My girls are 27, 26, 24 and 6.

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answers from Albany on

My hero as well, I'm 43, have 3 teenagers, am now in a MUCH better situtation than I was when I had my youngest, now 13, and had my tubes tied. I have hot flashes, irregular periods and crazy mood swings, still, if the tubes were still there, I'd be trying for a fourth...good luck to you mom, your babies are lucky kids indeed!

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