Pregnancy late in life and menopause: does pregnancy after 40 delay menopause?

It is a myth that pregnancy late in life preserves biological youth for longer and postpones the menopause

Being pregnant late in life certainly indicates good body condition but it does not affect the ageing process. The way we age is determined by our genes, lifestyle and medical history and nature cannot be fooled.

Monika Łukasiewicz, MD, PhD, gynaecologist and sexologist

Is it true that having a baby well into your 40s can give you an extra 10 years of ovarian activity?  Is pregnancy a natural rejuvenator?

Every woman is born with a certain pool of follicles, which are located in the ovaries. This is the so-called ovarian reserve, which is genetically determined.

Smoking is not sexy

A woman’s lifestyle, however, can affect the ovarian reserve. The only factor that is scientifically documented as having impact on the ovarian reserve is smoking. Nicotine addiction clearly lowers the ovarian reserve and consequently causes problems with pregnancy. It is worth mentioning that, in addition, smoking has a disastrous effect on our appearance and on many other aspects of health.

Late motherhood as youth potion? 

Late motherhood may, in some ways, have a positive impact on our mental health by making a woman feel younger. It must be said, however, that women who become mothers after the age of 40 often feel poorer after giving birth than younger women. This is because over time the body changes and slowly loses its ability to adapt to motherhood.

A woman “in a certain age” 

The older women get, the more often they fall ill and have more health problems. So if they give birth later, they inevitably need more time to recover, because pregnancy and birth are a huge effort for the body. Yet there is no direct correlation between late motherhood and menopause.

When does a woman enter the menopause?

Menopause or climacteric period usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. Statistically, it happens most often at the age of 51. Research indicates that fertility begins to decline around 10 years before menopause. A doctor declares menopause when menstrual bleeding has not occurred for 12 months and a woman’s ovaries have stopped producing egg cells. Another criterion is a marked decrease in hormone secretion by the ovaries.