If you’ve skipped a period or two and have what seem to be hot flashes, you may think you can no longer get pregnant because you’re starting to enter menopause. But you’re wrong. “As long as you’re having periods of any kind, no matter how irregular they are, there is always a chance of becoming pregnant,” Peterson says. In fact, an analysis by the Pew Research Center found that in 2008, 14 percent of births were to women age 35 and older (compared to 10 percent of births to teen moms). More than half of all pregnancies in women over age 40 are unintended, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a sexual and reproductive health research organization. So don’t toss out birth control unless you’re okay with getting pregnant. “You’re not safe until it’s been at least a year since your last menstrual period,” says Peterson.
Last Updated: 05/06/2011