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Can You Get Pregnant During Perimenopause? Natural Pregnancy During Perimenopause With Chinese Medicine

Women often find themselves having to make some difficult decisions about when to welcome a baby into their lives. That proverbial biological clock is a reminder that the time to become pregnant is limited. Some women may want to wait to find the right partner while other women may have demanding careers that are their current priority. For many women, it can be a very delicate subject.

Those who are nearing the age of 40 may think that the window to conceive has already begun to closed. Women who are entering perimenopause may believe that the window has, in fact, closed for good. Thankfully, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers hope to those women who are still planning to conceive even though they have entered perimenopause. Keep reading to learn more about natural pregnancy during perimenopause.

Perimenopause and Pregnancy

Can you get pregnant during perimenopause? Though it is a fact that fertility will begin to decrease at this stage of life, the good news is yes, it is still possible to conceive. The chances of a woman becoming pregnant during perimenopause range from 10-20% for those 45 years of age, and the chances drop to 5% for women who are 50 years of age. As long as a woman has not entered menopause, which means she has not had a period for at least 12 consecutive months, her chances of conceiving are low but still entirely possible.

How Does Pregnancy during Perimenopause Work?

It is important for women to know that unless they are in menopause, they are still capable of getting pregnant. Though the odds are slight, it is important for those who do not wish to conceive to continue to use birth control to avoid an unwanted pregnancy until they are no longer ovulating. Women who are still ovulating may experience a drop in hormones, such as estrogen, but menstruation is an indication that ovulation is still taking place, and the body is still able to release eggs that are capable of being fertilized.

Ovarian Health during Perimenopause

As a woman ovulates, any mature follicles contained within her ovaries will burst to release at least one egg. Once a woman nears menopause, she will likely find that her ovulation cycle is now irregular. This does not indicate that ovulation has stopped. Instead, it demonstrates that in spite of not having a regular period, the ovaries still contain eggs that are capable of being fertilized. This should come as good news to those who think their window to conceive has closed. Since hormone levels will continue to fluctuate at this stage in a woman’s life, it is important to bring balance to those hormones to help the ovaries to continue releasing viable eggs.

What are the chances of getting pregnant during perimenopause

A pregnancy during perimenopause is possible. A study has shown that the chance of getting pregnant for women aged 40-44 is 10-20% while women aged 45-49 still get a chance of 12%.

Traditional Chinese Medicine’s (TCM) View on Perimenopause and Pregnancy

Perimenopause is a transitional period leading up to menopause, during which a woman’s hormone levels, particularly estrogen and progesterone, fluctuate significantly. In TCM terms, these hormonal changes can disrupt the balance between Yin (cool, receptive, and nourishing energy) and Yang (warm, active, and transforming energy) within the body. This imbalance might manifest as symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, irregular periods, mood swings, and changes in libido.

From a TCM perspective, natural pregnancy during perimenopause can be influenced by factors such as the health of the Kidney and Liver meridians, the quality of Qi and blood circulation, and the balance between Yin and Yang.

TCM practitioners aim to bring balance to the hormones in an effort to help women find relief from symptoms while also encouraging ovulation. To do so, a TCM practitioner will work to improve blood flow, rid the body of toxins, and unblock any energy channels that may be causing irregular menstruation. Hormonal cycles are closely related to the energy of the liver and kidney systems.

The liver’s role in menstruation is to properly control the flow of Qi as well as the storage of blood. When the liver Qi is stagnant or blocked, the symptoms may range from an absent or irregular period to having heavy periods. Breast tenderness and menstrual pain can also indicate liver Qi stagnation. An excess of liver Qi can result in liver heat if left untreated. Since the liver is also affected by stress, it is important that women hoping to conceive speak with a TCM practitioner to discuss stress management techniques. In addition to stress, there may be toxins and certain types of food which may have a negative effect on the liver.

Like the liver, the kidneys also has a significant role in the regulation of the mensural cycle. The kidneys are responsible for growth and aging as well as storing jing. Jing, or kidney essence, is known to decline with age. Those who are experiences irregular periods may struggling with kidney yang deficiency. This then leads to both stagnation and coldness. If the kidneys continue to experience deficiencies, the result may be poorly functioning kidneys that negatively impact a woman’s reproductive health.

Perimenopause symptoms

During the perimenopausal phase your body starts to transition towards menopause. Levels of oestrogen and other hormones produced by your ovaries start to diminish and over time you may start to experience symptoms such as:

  • Hot flashes and sleep problems. 
  • Less regular and more erratic periods
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Changes in sexual function
  • Changing cholesterol levels

TCM interprets these symptoms as Kidney Deficiency, a syndrome that we will now explore.

 

There are several causes of Kidney Yin Deficiency which include age, overworking and lifestyle factors. In today’s modern world a woman will often work long hours in a stressful environment. Over time her Kidneys become depleted and are unable to function well. From a TCM perspective, Kidney function is damaged by not eating enough good quality and nourishing food, getting insufficient rest and not taking enough – or doing too much – exercise. When your Kidneys are overworked as a result of these factors it is difficult to remain healthy let alone become pregnant! In addition your Kidney function may have been affected by past drug abuse, excessive sexual activity or having had previous pregnancies, even if these pregnancies did not progress.

How to Increase the Chances of Pregnancy during Perimenopause

Traditional Chinese Medicine offers hope to those who are attempting to conceive during perimenopause. Not only will TCM help to improve a women’s odds of conception, but treatment may even help bring relief to some of the uncomfortable symptoms associated with menopause. Treatments such as acupuncture in conjunction with Chinese herbs and a healthy diet and exercise regimen are all non-invasive, drug-free options that have been shown to lead to conception.

  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture has a centuries-old history of being both safe and effective for those who are trying to conceive. Since it has been shown to improve blood flow, acupuncture can help to regulate the menstrual cycle. It can improve an irregular period thanks to its ability to promote blood circulation.  Treatment with acupuncture may also reduce phlegm and clear heat while invigorating the blood. Thanks to acupuncture’s ability to bring balance to the body’s nervous system, it is even successful in helping women to reduce stress.

Luckily TCM provides an effective natural solution to tackling peri menopausal symptoms and also increasing your fertility during perimenopause. According to a study that was recently published in the prestigious British Medical Journal Open, women who experienced excess sweating, mood swings, sleep disturbances, and skin and hair problems experienced significant reductions in these symptoms after having acupuncture treatment. These findings prompted the researchers to conclude that acupuncture offers “a realistic treatment option for women”. Another large scale review in the journal Medicine found that the pregnancy rate in women who had acupuncture treatment was significantly higher when compared to those that did not receive this treatment.

  • Chinese Medicinal Herbs: There are a number of herbs with a track record of improving pregnancy chances. The reproductive tonic Dong Quai contains antioxidants that have been shown to aid in conception. Treatment with Dong Quai may help to regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce uterine fibroids. Goji berries also have antioxidant properties and have been shown to promote fertility. Wild yam is often used for those who are experiencing uterine cramping. Due to containing a natural form of progesterone, wild yam can help to thicken the walls of the uterus to improve the chances of implantation.
Dong quai pills

Dong Quai or Angelica sinensis has been used for centuries in Chinese Medicine. It is rich in compounds with anti-inflammatory and immune-stimulating effects, and the dong quai pills can be added to your daily routine for its many health benefits. Often coined as “women’s fertility herb” or “female ginseng” this powerful herb is used to balance female hormones and menstrual cycle. 

Goji Berry supplements have no added preservatives, and offer a convenient alternative for people who struggle to add the fresh berries to their diet or find the fruit to have a sour taste. Goji berry tablets/ capsules by GinSen, contains natural sources of antioxidants and are rich in iron which provide nutrition to the blood , improve energy levels naturally and various benefits. 

Goji Berry capsules
acupressure points for sinus

There are several acupuncture points that can be used to help boost the function of the Kidneys, which in turn will boost Kidney Yin and promote fertility during perimenopause. One set of points, known as Kidney Correspondence are particularly potent. These points are located on your back, about an inch away from your spine, around the level of your waist. A combination of moxibustion and acupuncture treatment to these points are very effective at giving your Kidney Yin that vital boost!

Can Chinese Medicine help for IVF during perimenopause?

Yes, Acupuncture is a natural way to improve blood flow and bring nutrients to the reproductive organs. It helps restore the energy balance of the body holistically and also works by unblocking the energy channels of the uterus, which will finally lead to an improvement in egg quality and increase the chances of conceiving. Along with acupuncture, other TCM treatments, supplements, and herbal tea are also helpful for supporting egg maturation during perimenopause.

 

Related: Improve Egg Quality for IVF 

How can I naturally promote my fertility during perimenopause?

Eating a nutrient-dense, whole food diet is a must so you should aim to increase the amount of fresh leafy vegetables, fruit and whole grains in your diet. In order to promote a healthy Liver function it is helpful to eliminate over processed foods as much as possible.

Hydration. So many of us are dehydrated and don’t even know it! Try to drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water every day. This will help to flush out your Kidneys and will enable them to work at their best. It will also help you to flush out any toxins from our body.

Make time to rest. We understand that it is difficult to carve out time when you work in a busy environment. If cutting back on your working hours is not an option, make time to recharge your batteries, to rest and to relax. Listen to a meditation, have a long soak in the bath and allow yourself the opportunity to be still. Your Kidney Yin will thank you for it.

Can you get pregnant during perimenopause? Thankfully, the short answer is yes. Unless you have not had a period for 12 months or it has been confirmed that you have officially entered menopause, then there is still a chance that conception is a possibility. Though women entering the perimenopausal phase of life may experience unwelcome side effects such as hot flashes, sleep disturbances, and bone loss, TCM offers many possible treatments to help calm those symptoms while encouraging conception. Acupuncture can help women by promoting circulation. Chinese medicinal herbs and their anti-inflammatory properties are a drug-free, affordable way to prepare your body for pregnancy. Eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise will also help to ensure your body is getting the nutrients and rest it needs to encourage ovulation. If you have questions about perimenopause and pregnancy, speak to a TCM practitioner to discuss your options.

For more information about how Chinese Medicine can help you to get pregnant during perimenopause, book your free consultation with our Chinese Medicine experts today

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.

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