What Are the Chances of Getting Pregnant at 44?

Updated on May 22, 2018
Butterfly67 profile image

I started trying to conceive in my early 40s. After a miscarriage (and endless research) I finally had my baby at age 46.

Information Source: American Society of Reproductive Medicine.
Information Source: American Society of Reproductive Medicine. | Source

Is It Possible to Get Pregnant at 44?

Firstly, I want to start with the positives. It is very possible to get pregnant at 44. Now, obviously, I must add a few caveats to this statement. You will need to still be having regular periods (although they don't need to be the same length each cycle.) More than that, you need to be ovulating (although you can get help with this if not.) There may also be other medical issues that might need looking into.

The negative side is that it may take you much longer than it would have done in your 20s or 30s. So you may need to have some patience. There are a lot of different statistics cited for conception at 44 with IVF but in truth, it is difficult to find information about natural conception at this age because the women in this group are unlikely to be monitored, whether they succeed or not.

Getting Pregnant in Your 40s

When you are in your 40s and trying to get pregnant, you are often told that the chances are pretty slim. Those who already have children have to put up with comments from people asking them why they are still trying for another child at their age, but only people in their shoes can know the longing that they may have for another child.

For those who have not had children before, you may enter the world of trying to conceive with some naivety—perhaps expecting to get pregnant right away. In any case, I will try to put forth here what I have learned about the particular struggles of trying to get pregnant at 44.

What Are the Chances of Getting Pregnant at 44 Naturally?

The truth is that conception at 44 is rare no matter which statistics you look at.

But whatever the statistics may say, it is possible to get pregnant naturally. I was pregnant at 44 myself.

How to Boost Your Chances of Getting Pregnant at 44

As I said, I was able to get pregnant at 44. It's possible! And there are steps you can take to increase the likelihood of conception.

"It is important that she is looking for ovulation at the right time," says Dr. John Thoppil, an ObGyn in Austin. "As a woman ages, it is common for cycle length to shorten. This usually means earlier ovulation. I would encourage the use of an ovulation predictor kit to ensure she is not missing her fertile window."

Frequent Sex

The optimal timing for intercourse is every 1-2 days of sex during the fertile window.

Fertility-Friendly Lubricant

You only need a little bit of this lubricant to create a more sperm-friendly environment in your vagina. Keep in mind that commercial lubricants are unfriendly to sperm. If you go this route, use Pre-Seed or Conceive Plus. I was using Conceive Plus when I got pregnant. I chose it because it was a bit cheaper than Pre-Seed.

Supplements

A formula called FertilityBlend has been shown in studies to help women conceive. The mixture contains folic acid, vitamins B-6, B-12, C, and E, iron, magnesium, selenium, and zinc. It also includes the herb chasteberry, which is widely used in Chinese medicine to encourage ovulation, green tea extract, which is believed to be an antioxidant, and L-arginine, which was shown in a recent study to enhance conception in fertility patients.

Holistic Approaches

Many women prefer to take the holistic approach to trying to get pregnant and there are many resources available in this regard. Many believe that there is a mental element to getting pregnant and that the mind is somehow blocking the body. Relaxation, moderate exercise, and a good diet are great ways to keep your body healthy and your mind at ease.

Acupuncture is also a very popular approach and there are specific fertility acupuncture practitioners who will work with you to bring your body to its optimum fertility.

Improving Egg Quality Between 40 and 44

The one big barrier to getting pregnant in your early 40s is egg quality. It is well documented that egg quality declines with age (you only need to compare the statistics between someone who has done IVF in their 40s and someone who has done it in their 20s to see the difference in the number and quality of eggs produced) and for this reason it is important to do as much as we can to improve egg quality.

"Unfortunately, a woman is born with all the eggs she is ever going to have," says Dr. Thoppil. "The quality of the eggs declines for every person. Genetics probably play a role here. However we can optimize other risk factors: don't smoke, be of normal weight, and eat a healthy diet."

Research confirms that some lifestyle changes can help make conception more likely. The supplement coenzyme Q10, a naturally occurring enzyme required for energy metabolism, may have some positive benefits on egg quality.

There is no universally accepted "fertility diet" but studies do show that meat consumption is bad for ovulation function. The study specifically found that red meat, chicken, and turkey were problematic. Instead, this diet is recommended:

  • Low trans-fat and more monounsaturated fats

  • Low animal protein and more vegetable protein

  • High-fiber, low glycemic carbs

  • High-fat dairy products

  • High iron intake (from plants, not meat)

This happened to me at 44, I hope it happens for you.
This happened to me at 44, I hope it happens for you.

Using Donor Eggs

If you are older, especially if you’re over 42, and have not succeeded with other therapies, or if you have premature ovarian failure (POF) (also known as early menopause), your treatment options are limited.

Egg donation, which involves the use of eggs donated by another woman typically in her 20s or early 30s, is highly successful. The high success rate with egg donation confirms that egg quality associated with age is the primary barrier to pregnancy in older women. If you are over 40, your chance of successful pregnancy is much higher in IVF cycles using donor eggs, but many couples or single women in their early 40s will choose to accept the lower chance of becoming pregnant and use their own eggs. By age 43, the chance of becoming pregnant through IVF is less than 5%, and by age 45, use of donor eggs is the only reasonable alternative.

Risk of Miscarriage

It can't be denied that at the age of 44, even if you manage to get pregnant, there is a higher risk of miscarriage than there is for younger ladies. At 44 the loss rate is over 50%, according to Dr. Thoppil.

Unfortunately, my own pregnancy at 44 ended in a blighted ovum miscarriage. Of course, you may be lucky and hit that good egg the first time, but it might be worth bearing this in mind although obviously, you shouldn't let this stop you trying.

I do know of a number of ladies who had one or more miscarriages who then went on to have healthy babies in their mid-40s, so just because you have one miscarriage does not mean that the same thing will happen again.

Finding Out if You Are Perimenopausal

If you are over 35, many doctors will recommend fertility testing 6 months after you have started trying. The big test is the FSH test, which is said to tell how near the menopause you are. A high FSH (25 or over) is said to be near menopause. I did a home FSH test, which can be an indicator of your fertility. It does not give you an exact figure like the test you get at the doctor, but instead a degree of color on a test strip). The home test I did looked OK and when I did get my FSH results my number was 7.6, which equated reasonably well to the home test that I did.

However, do not despair if you have a high FSH as all is not lost. FSH can differ from cycle to cycle for a start. It can also be affected by stress. Also, I know of two ladies right now who are pregnant with an FSH of over 25.

Testing Your Fallopian Tubes

Another key test is the HSG, which checks if your fallopian tubes are clear. I did not get around to getting the HSG because I got pregnant, so I knew that the sperm could meet the egg.

Another test is the AMH test, which is said to test egg reserves but this is a very controversial test and many doctors will not do it as they do not believe it has credibility.

Getting Sperm Tested

While your age is an issue if you're 44, it's worth exploring whether your partner's sperm is in good condition as well. As long as you're doing so much to optimize your chances of getting pregnant, it makes sense for him to be tested too.

A doctor may ask for a sperm sample to analyze. They may also ask about recreational drug use, exercise, and sexual function. It will likely get really personal, but if he is really supportive of your effort to get pregnant, he'll do it.

IVF and Other Medical Interventions

Sometimes it seems that many doctors, when they know your age, will advise you to go straight to IUI (intra-uterine insemination) or IVF as they believe this may give you a better chance of getting pregnant. Often donor egg will be recommended, which can increase the chances often to more than 50% but still does not give any certainty. There are other options. Clomid is a pill that a doctor can prescribe to aid ovulation (particularly if you are having trouble ovulating) and that has been used successfully for many women.

For some people, medical interventions of this kind are not on the cards as the costs are too high and so natural pregnancy is the only option.

In any case, get your doctor on your side and ask them to do as many tests as they are able.

My Experience Getting Pregnant at 44

I got pregnant after 9 tries (starting when I was 43) and although it ended in miscarriage. I also know a number of ladies who got pregnant at 44 and of course a number of ladies who have been trying for quite a while and are still not pregnant. What I would say is, try not to put too much pressure on yourself for it to work straight away. By all means, do all that you can to maximize your chances from the beginning (in particular find out exactly when you are ovulating), but try not to obsess every month over whether it has worked or not.

I wish you all the best of luck and lots of baby dust. xxx

© 2012 Jackie Grant

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    • profile image

      Liana2020 

      7 days ago

      I got pregnant at 45. I was trying not to get pregnant, so had sex once when I was not ovulating. I’d rather not be pregnant and delivery at 46 was not in my plans . I was very done having kids. The secret is i’ve always since I was a girl looked after my health ,very rarley drank I’ve never been drunk,never smoked or did any kind of drugs, and most of my life have lived in forested areas with little pollution. And good genetics I’ve never taken supplements just ate well and have always since childhood exercises regularly

    • profile image

      Colita Roberts 

      12 days ago

      I wood like to get a baby

    • Butterfly67 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Grant 

      6 weeks ago from UK

      Hi J, do you mean this one? https://amzn.to/2JvawL4

    • profile image

      6 weeks ago

      Where do you buy fertility blend?

    • Butterfly67 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Grant 

      7 weeks ago from UK

      Hi Amelia Jean, yes there are a lot of IVF clinics particularly in Europe who can help women often up to the age of 50 have a child. It is often a contentious subject so yes there should definitely be regulation of these clinics.

    • profile image

      Amelia Jean 

      7 weeks ago

      Great impacts of bad habits and pollution course many problems for women who want to have a child. Plus, more and more women focus on the career rather than family. That is why they delay giving birth to children. But sometimes when they finally decided to have a child, it is too late for their body to conceive. Maybe if we start talking more about this problem, governmental officials will start doing something in this field. Legal system that regulates fertility treatments should be greatly changed and improved. In each country there are own standards. Personally I choose Ukraine because it’s famous for its medical technologies, buy the way. Especially, in IVF and surrogacy sphere. And there are a lot of stories of woman, older than 50 years old, who gave birth to children due to their professionalism. The fertility center where I was is providing different packages of services. They can meet you in the airport, provide a nice hotel, help with translations etc. Anyway, they can give your assistance in everything you need. Don’t hesitate to call them. Even better to go there first for a free consultation and seeing everything by your eyes. It will help you to realize that Kiev is safe city. This clinic name is Biotexcom. They have very professional team.

    • Butterfly67 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Grant 

      2 months ago from UK

      Oh gosh Suzanne, that is a tough position to be in. Yes I agree if you keep as healthy as possible that may increase your chances. Good luck.

    • profile image

      Suzanne law 

      2 months ago

      I’m pregnant at 45 totally unplanned . I’m more fertile them I want to be but probably it’s because I never really drank alcohol never smoked always exercised and had good nutrition. I also did not spend years on the pill and have four kids already. I would love not to be pregnant as I’m tired of raising kids and am envious of those who are not pregnant at 45. I feel all these articulate about how hard it is to get pregnant at 45 did not serve me well because I was probably to lax with birth control.

    • Butterfly67 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Grant 

      3 months ago from UK

      In theory it is possible but it does depend on your personal circumstances. You need to be ovulating and may need to have your hormone levels checked by your doctor to ensure you are for example producing enough progesterone and have a good egg supply left. People frequently get pregnant at age 42 but everyone's body differs.

    • profile image

      Dorothy 

      3 months ago

      I am 42 yrs trying to get pregnant , is it possible

    • Butterfly67 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Grant 

      4 months ago from UK

      I am not a doctor but I have definitely heard of people getting pregnant with an AMH around that level. Good luck.

    • Butterfly67 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Grant 

      4 months ago from UK

      Hi Nava, I am not a doctor but yes, as long as you are still ovulating there is a chance you can get pregnant. You may want to go and get some tests done by your doctor to check hormone levels but 43 is definitely not too old.

    • Butterfly67 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Grant 

      4 months ago from UK

      Hi Caroline, you can check out this article about the supplements I used: https://hubpages.com/health/How-To-Improve-the-Qua...

    • profile image

      Caroline S 

      4 months ago

      What supplements did you use?

    • Butterfly67 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Grant 

      4 months ago from UK

      If she is not having periods then it sounds unlikely but it would be best to get checked by a doctor to see what her hormone levels are like and if she is still ovulating.

    • Butterfly67 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Grant 

      4 months ago from UK

      I'm so sorry to hear that tk. yes, there is a slightly higher risk of problems like that as we get older. Best wishes x

    • profile image

      tk 

      4 months ago

      unfortunately there is one more thing.. yes, absolutely possible to get pregnant at 44. I did, and I did not miscarry.. but the baby was tested with T21, sporadic, only because of my age.. I wish i had another chance. just could not believe it could happen.. just need to be aware. sorry have nothing positive on that..

    • profile image

      colleen 

      4 months ago

      Thank you so much. I felt comfort and hope in reading this article. I just had my first miscarriage. I went through ISIs and two cycles of failed IVFs. I know I can get pregant on my own. I hate doctors telling me it is my age. It only takes 1 egg. I am hopeful. I started taking CO Q10. It tells with egg maturity and string.

    • Butterfly67 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Grant 

      5 months ago from UK

      Hi Karen, I hope you see some light at the end of the tunnel soon!

    • profile image

      Karen, Israel 

      5 months ago

      Thank you so much , you’ve been such a ray if light in this dark long endless tunnel

    • Butterfly67 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Grant 

      5 months ago from UK

      Hi Rie, check out this article https://hubpages.com/health/How-To-Improve-the-Qua... and good luck.

    • profile image

      Rie 

      5 months ago

      I'm 44 and trying for a baby. What supplements can I take to boost my fertility?

    • Butterfly67 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Grant 

      6 months ago from UK

      That is lovely news Erica, congrats, I wish you all the best!

    • profile image

      Erica 

      6 months ago

      I'm 44 will be 45 in May. I'm pregnant and did it the old fashioned way. I pray I give birth to a happy, healthy baby.

    • profile image

      Jovida AD 

      6 months ago

      It’s extremely probable if you have good healthy habits. I tried for so many years 8 years to have my second child. Got divorce and was on a good diet with Prenatals as a meat suplement recommended for vegetarians. It’s called rainbow light. But I did have a miscarriage because of stress and other factors. As you know babies are connectef to the aorta which is located in the lower abdomen so healthy heart, emotional state is a must. With my son I was bed ridden for 3 months. Good Luck! Prepare a year in advance with good nutrition and vitamins to prevent any complications. I been taking prenatals for 3 years because of limited meat intake.

    • Butterfly67 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Grant 

      7 months ago from UK

      That is lovely to hear cornishrex1, and good luck with number 2 x

    • profile image

      cornishrex1 

      7 months ago

      I wanted to add my vote. I became pregnant with my first child at 43 and he arrived at 44 and 5 months. I got pregnant after 3 months of trying (naturally). I'm now late 46 and we're having a go at another - I'm ovulating every month according to temps etc so why not .....

    • Butterfly67 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Grant 

      8 months ago from UK

      Wow that is fantastic Rose, I wish you all the best when you meet your new arrival x

    • profile image

      Rose 

      8 months ago

      What started out as my perimenopause appointment ended up being my first prenatal care exam! Lol! After weeks of collecting facts, we realized that this situation was becoming our dream. Interesting enough when we stopped looking for signs and lived happier with what we have...this beautiful surprise popped up. I’m 44 yrs. old and I’m 19 weeks pregnant. After six years of hoping, we finally have a baby in the making. We learned a lot of important life lessons before this precious gift arrived and we hope to one day share them with her.

    • Butterfly67 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Grant 

      8 months ago from UK

      Hi Stephanie, check out this article: https://hubpages.com/health/How-To-Improve-the-Qua...

    • profile image

      Stephanie Johnson 

      8 months ago

      What are the supplements you used?

    • profile image

      Lilikid 

      9 months ago

      Since my partner was overseas, we tried IVF twice with no success at age 42, also to have twins. The NHS gynecologist told me last year I was "never going to conceive", uplifting! I told him my greatgrandma had my nan at 44 and 3 others in the previous 5 years, I have 3 hairs on my chin from her, I may have her ovaries too". I sounded pretty stubborn but guess what, I do! My partner came back and got me pregnant in 5 months, miscarriage and then pregnant again after 7 months. I am now 4'5 months pregnant and telling my story to all women in their 40's I come across, relax and it will happen. I will give birth age 45 and still hope to get a little brother or sister later. If you are still ovulating, age is just a number. If not, there is help with medical prescription, little pills for under £10 to help ovulation.

    • Butterfly67 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Grant 

      10 months ago from UK

      That is fantastic news Tawnya, congratulations. It is really great for people trying to hear these success stories!

    • profile image

      Tawnya 

      10 months ago

      I'm pregnant naturally at 43 and will be 44 when I deliver with a very healthy baby boy. Couldnt get pregnant in 30's and used ivf. Now I have my bonus baby on the way..11/13/17

    • Butterfly67 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Grant 

      10 months ago from UK

      That is so lovely to hear Sheridan, Congratulations!

    • profile image

      Sheridan 

      10 months ago

      After two IVF attempts and a beautiful baby boy who is now 3, we had two embryo implants that failed. Now 44 but closer to 45 we have conceived naturally and our second son will be born Dec 6th. Never give up, I agree that if its meant to happen it will, statistics can't explain so many peoples experiences.

    • Butterfly67 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Grant 

      11 months ago from UK

      That is fabulous news Lou, many congratulations! :-)

    • profile image

      Lou 

      11 months ago

      I'm 44 and 22 weeks pregnant. concive naturally , no complications. Still working like before no special cares ,expecting my baby boy in December. Don't get discourage it can happen :)

    • Butterfly67 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Grant 

      11 months ago from UK

      Hi Althea. Folic acid won't actually help you get pregnant but it is something essential to take when you are trying to get pregnant to prevent neural tube defects. You can take some other supplements that may help improve your egg quality and some ideas of what you can take are listed here: https://hubpages.com/health/How-To-Improve-the-Qua...

    • profile image

      Althea vassell 

      11 months ago

      Hi I am althea I am 44 and trying to get pregnant I take the folic acid pills for 2 months now can u tell me what can I do to get pregnant

    • Butterfly67 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Grant 

      3 years ago from UK

      Congrats Trent it is lovely to hear a success story!

    • profile image

      Trent 

      3 years ago

      My wife and I just naturally had a healthy baby boy at ages 44(her) and 49(me). Our daughter is 7 yrs old and we tried several years after she was born with no success.I don't believe in man made "statistics".If it's meant to happen,it will happen!

    • Butterfly67 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Grant 

      6 years ago from UK

      Hi joanner, yes for sure the chances really do depend on individual circumstances - I guess that the 3% chance that is given out in the majority of statistics takes account of every scenario and averages it out. However, I agree that you cannot put a figure on it and I am not sure how they do as they can surely not monitor every woman who tries to get pregnant in her 40's. So really we have to take charge ourselves and get any necessary tests done before assessing our own chances.

    • profile image

      joanner 

      6 years ago

      The statistics on getting pregnant in your forties mislead women. Basically, some women have a 100% chance, and some women have none. It's not the case that a fertile woman in her early/mid forties has a 3% chance per month. These kind of statistics are absurd and hide the reality of individual situations.

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