Perimenopause and Fertility Treatments
If you are experiencing problems getting pregnant, it may be the result of a variety of different factors. Issues such as physical health and wellbeing, as well as reproductive complications often play a role in infertility.
If you are moving out of your reproductive years, age may also be playing a major role in your fertility struggle. Age is often the single most important factor when it comes to getting pregnant. So if you are heading towards perimenopause, you may want to consider some specific treatments helpful for restoring fertility in pre-menopausal women.
What is Perimenopause?
Perimenopause is the name given to the first stage of a woman's menopause. It is during perimenopause that you will typically experience the first signs that you are nearing the end of your reproductive years.
Perimenopause can begin as early as age 35 or as late as age 60, however it usually begins when women are in their 40s and 50s. Perimenopause typically lasts between two and five years, but it can last more than ten years in some women.
What are the Signs of Perimenopause?
Some typical symptoms of perimenopause include:
- irregular periods
- hot flashes
- mood changes
How Does Perimenopause Affect Fertility?
During perimenopause, your body's reproductive system begins to slow down. Your sex hormones (estrogen and progesterone) begin to decline, and as a result, your cycles may become irregular. Your ovaries will start to release fewer eggs and you may not ovulate every month. This can make it difficult for some women to get pregnant during perimenopause.
Testing for Perimenopause
If you are and your partner are having difficulties getting pregnant, you will probably both be tested for specific fertility issues. If you are over the age of 30, you may be undergoing perimenopause, and there are a few tests that your reproductive endocrinologist will likely perform.
Testing for Ovarian Reserve
As you age, your ovarian reserve will begin to decline. This happens to all women, beginning from the very day that they are born. Your health provider will want to check that you have a healthy number of viable eggs in your ovaries, and that you are ovulating normally. Typical tests for ovarian reserve include:
- Day 3 FSH
- Estradiol test
- Clomiphene Challenge test