Getting Pregnant in Your 40s
Can I Get Pregnant in My Forties?
This is a question that, if you have found this page, you may be asking of yourself and indeed, I also wondered this. I spent a long time investigating this issue when it came into my mind that at the age of 43, I was finally ready to have a child.
Whether it is your first child, or you already have a child or children from a previous or current relationship, the issue is the same: is it too late to have a child in your forties? For me it was a case of not really being too bothered about having children, particularly in my twenties. In my thirties I did think about it briefly when I was in a stable relationship, but it turned out not to be the right time. Now that I had reached 43, and was not in a relationship, I figured it was my time, albeit possibly too late.
Fertility Levels in Women Over 40
Anyway, I did a lot of researching about the levels of fertility in women over 40. It seems like there is a big difference between trying to conceive at age 40 and conceiving at age 43. The chances seem to drop drastically after age 40. However, as much as I investigated, I couldn’t find any consensus on the actual statistical chances, which ranged from 5% to 38%. I guess it is difficult to conduct a decent study when you need to find people who are actually trying to get pregnant at that age. Of course in studies like that are you also going to catch people who are not trying but do accidentally get pregnant when they are over 40?
So, I suppose that what you need to know, if you think you might be pregnant, or you just want to get pregnant, is that there is a chance. What more really do you need to know than that? Although it is sometimes useful to know statistics, you don't know on which side of the statistics you will fall if there are some positives and some negatives.
If there is a chance, then you are going to try, right? As long as you are still having regular periods then that is a good start. OK so maybe if you know what the actual chances are then you can build your hopes and expectations accordingly but let’s face it, we all know that the chances of getting pregnant at 43 are less than those at 40 and significantly less than the chances of conceiving in your thirties and knowing that they are slim is not going to stop us trying.
The Bad News
What you also need to know is that the chances of miscarriage in your 40s are hugely increased, so even if you do manage to get pregnant then be aware of this fact. I have heard that as many as 30% of pregnancies of women aged 43 miscarry. Although this is worrying, as long as you are conscious of this then you can also prepare yourself for any possible eventuality.
Added to that is the possibility of birth defects, which is also much higher in women over 40. Then there is the decision as to whether or not to have an amniocentesis to check for Down's Syndrome and whether this will even matter to you. It is for sure more stressful to try to have a baby over 40 so you need to be well informed of the possible situations that may occur.
The Good News
Well the good news is that it really is possible to get pregnant at 43. There are a few things that you need to think about - firstly it is going to take longer than it might do otherwise - but don't let this put you off, as long as it is still possible then you have a chance every month.
One main thing though, if you decide to start trying to get pregnant at 43 is to do everything that you can to help yourself and do it as quickly as possible. There are a lot of supplements that you can take and things that you can use to increase your chances and possibly increase the quality of your eggs.
Make sure you have all of your testing done as soon as possible. Your doctor can check your hormone levels to ensure that you are still ovulating and you can get your tubes checked too to make sure there are no blockages.
Doctors will usually check you out within 6 months of starting to try to get pregnant, so get yourself checked out as soon as you hit that milestone (if you can't before).
You should also get your partner checked out with a Semen Analysis. Even if he has kids from a previous relationship then his levels could have changed in the interim. Having said that, if the results are not so good there are things that he can do to make them better.
And lastly, good luck and have fun! :-)
Book Recommended By A Reader
This book was recommended by a reader (see comments below by 'worthitx2') as highly recommended to anyone who has suffered a miscarriage, which seems like a large percentage of those who are over 40, if not all people trying to get pregnant.
The book above is also available from Amazon UK and you can find it here.