While it may be more difficult to get pregnant for women over 40, it certainly isn’t impossible.
What are your chances?
According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, women over the age of 40 have a 5% chance of getting pregnant naturally each month. But, don’t let that number scare you. The chances for any healthy woman trying to conceive are:
- Under age 35: 25-30%
- Ages 35-39: 8-15%
- Ages 40-42: 5%
- Age 43 through menopause: 1-2%
Start with ovulation tracking
Regardless of age, if you are serious about getting pregnant, it’s worth tracking your ovulation. According to a 2003 study published in the journal Human Reproduction, when 346 women ages 20 to 44 timed their intercourse to help them conceive, they had a 38 percent chance of conceiving in one cycle, a 68 percent chance within three cycles, an 81 percent chance within six cycles and a 92 percent chance of getting pregnant within 12 cycles.
Evaluate your lifestyle
Simple lifestyle changes can also help women of all ages, especially those trying to get pregnant after 40. These include incorporating regular, moderate exercise into your daily routine, limiting alcohol consumption, taking a daily prenatal vitamin and eating a healthy diet that includes fertility-boosting foods [link to previous blog post]. These changes will help prepare your body and make a healthier environment for eggs, sperm and fertilization.
Understand the risks
If you are wanting to fulfill your dream of starting a family, don’t let age deter you. However, it is important to understand the risks and possible complications. Getting pregnant after 40 can increase your chances of developing high blood pressure and gestational diabetes–both of which can be managed with the help of your obstetrician.
Advanced maternal age also increases your risk of miscarriage, genetic disorders, and labor and delivery complications. As a result, women who successfully get pregnant after 40 and prefer midwifery care may also be encouraged to consult a traditional OB physician in case any issues or atypical conditions arise.
Contact Carolinas Fertility Institute
As a natural part of aging, egg quality and production declines and medical conditions become more prevalent which can increase the likelihood of needing fertility help. If you are over the age of 35 and have been trying for more than 6 months without conceiving, contact Carolinas Fertility Institute to schedule a fertility consultation today. Our expert physicians have more than 30 years of combined experience helping women of all ages achieve their parenting dreams.