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Menopause v. Pregnancy Symptoms

Pregnancy During Menopause
Pregnancy During Menopause
Photo by Clemens Bilan/Getty Images

Am I pregnant at 45?
Many women believe that the onset of menopause means that they can't get pregnant. However, women in their 30's and 40's can go through perimenopause, while still partially ovulating, and a conception can occur. A woman can become pregnant during menopause because the ovaries don't stop producing eggs right away. There are on and off fertile periods and if you enter one of those "off" stages, well, you can become pregnant. You are over 40 and you've missed your period, you feel irritable and moody, are you pregnant or are you about to go through the change of life? Many of the symptoms are similar.

Pregnancy vs. Menopause Hormonal Symptoms:
Juxtaposition in their very nature, a pregnancy is an increase of life, while menopause signals a decrease in fertility hormones, but they have similar symptoms. Pregnancy symptoms are caused by changes in hormonal levels and blood circulation. Estrogen and progesterone levels rise to support a woman's pregnancy, within two weeks of conception. Placental blood circulation increases because the embryo is developing its own blood and blood vessels, while the mother's heart rate and blood circulation increases to accommodate the fetus growing inside her body. Menopausal symptoms are due to erratic and decreased hormones. Estrogen is produced by fertile eggs follicles in the ovaries. During menopause, the egg follicles drop and soon stop functioning, leading to the cessation of ovulation.

Conjoined Symptoms:
Some symptoms are shared by menopausal women who are pregnant. These symptoms include headaches, mood swings, and tiredness. During pregnancy, a woman experiences these symptoms because of an increase in progesterone, plus the increased blood supply to the fetus. It has been reported that between one to two percent of women, experience their first migraine during pregnancy. During menopause, women experience mood swings, hot flashes, and sleeplessness, as well as headaches, due to hormonal and physical changes. Mood swings are affected by hormones from both a pregnancy, as well as menopause. However, moodiness caused by menopause is often triggered by external factors that create stress or anxiety. Hot flashes for pregnant women, occurs mainly during the first and third trimesters, due to changes in hormone levels.

Pregnancy Symptoms:
The symptoms experienced by pregnant women and that are different from menopause, includes nausea, swollen and tender breasts, odor aversions, food aversions, incontinence, and dizziness. Dizziness and fatigue is caused by blood circulatory changes. Most pregnant women will experience a swelling in their feet and ankles. These symptoms are not common to menopause. In the same way, while a women goes through menopause, they might experience some nausea from time to time, nausea while pregnant is generally limited to mornings.

Menopause Symptoms:
Symptoms that are typical only during menopause, include hot and cold flashes or night sweats, loss of hair, vaginal dryness, difficulty sleeping, soft or brittle nails, confusion, panic attacks, depression, itchy skin, and decrease in libido, bad breath, and body odor. The fluctuating levels of progesterone and testosterone are responsible for menopause symptoms, which initiates a series of physiological changes.

Menses Changes:
Missed and irregular periods are a symptom of both menopause and pregnancy. To consider symptoms of menopause or pregnancy, an older woman must be knowledgeable of both. Although missed or irregular periods may be the first symptom of the onset of perimenopause, there are other symptoms that many, but not all women experience, including hot flashes, trouble sleeping, mood swings, vaginal dryness and night sweats. During a pregnancy, women do not have a menses period. Women can also experience some light vaginal bleeding or spotting. During early menopause, a woman will have irregular periods. A woman must consider the other symptoms that accompany each condition, to guess which condition she is experiencing. Taking a home pregnancy test, followed by a doctor's visit, which will reveal the results.

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