How does having a baby later in life affect menopause? - Mothering Forums
Women's Health > How does having a baby later in life affect menopause?
NaturalMamma's Avatar NaturalMamma 08:10 PM 01-15-2003
I'm not sure where to post this, so I thought I'd try this board.
I gave birth to my daughter when I was 5 mos shy of my 40th birthday. Prior to becoming pg, I was told that I had about a 1% chance of conceiving b/c I was perimenopausal and my ovarian reserve was poor. I'm almost 42 now and my daughter is still nursing.

Although no one can know for sure when I'll enter menopause, I'm curious how having a baby in midlife (and nursing for a few years) has affected most women's menopause. Will it bring it on earlier? I feel like my daughter is keeping me young, so hopefully I'll continue to feel that way!

Thanks for any thoughts. :-)

Cindi

SagMom's Avatar SagMom 11:37 PM 01-16-2003
I really hope someone has some input on this--I've been wondering how a later preg might effect menopause myself!
Cindi's Avatar Cindi 02:14 PM 01-17-2003
I'm 29, but still curious, so looked it up... I found this interesting article, and maybe you have seen others: http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/16019/81111

It doesn't mention anything about a shift in onset of menopause but does say this:

Quote:
there is evidence to suggest that women who become pregnant in their forties are less likely to suffer adverse symptoms during the menopause. This is apparently due to the elevated levels of hormones that circulate the body during pregnancy, which appear to afford some protection against the less pleasant physical aspects of the approaching menopause.

glh's Avatar glh 02:52 PM 01-17-2003
Wow, it never even occured to me that a late pregnancy would affect menopause. I had my youngest when I was 44. I did hear once that late pregnancies (after 40) may mean that you will live longer. I think personally that may be partly because you start to take better care of yourself so you will be there when your children grow up.
SagMom's Avatar SagMom 03:05 PM 01-17-2003
ooooh---thanks, Cindi. I was thinking along those lines, but figured it was wishful thinking! (I'd hoped that I could have just one more, nurse a few years and maybe by the time he/she weaned, menopause would have come and gone without me even noticing.) Hey, I can dream, can't I?
NaturalMamma's Avatar NaturalMamma 12:52 AM 01-18-2003
Wow! That's encouraging, Cindi! Thanks for the info!

Cindi
Mamaste's Avatar Mamaste 03:13 AM 01-18-2003
I think women who have babies in their 40s are healthier/live longer because they have "time off" from estrogen while they're pregnant and breastfeeding. It's the same principle as why having children reduces the risk of breast cancer (breast cancer is estrogen-linked).

At any rate, unless you had specific testing done, I don't know how someone could tell you what your "ovarian reserve" is at any age. Geeze. I got pregnant at 39 the very first time I went without protection. It was like all of three days after we decided to stop using contraceptives. Good grief -- lowered fertility?!? HUH?!?
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