What are the chances of getting pregnant at 40? It is not uncommon for ladies to get pregnant at their 40’s. There are many successful cases, women who get pregnant at 40 and above, are giving birth to healthy and bouncing babies. For those ladies who have just started a family aged 40 or 40 plus and wish to have a baby, here is the article for you.
Nowadays, getting more and more ladies choose to start a family at a later age, for various reasons- financial stability is one of the most common ones, some women even have baby fever strike in their mid 40’s, and so on. We have read a lot about the complications of getting pregnant and so forth which hold us back. Knowing the risk and what to expect if we get pregnant in our 40s, will prepare us better, to prevent and seek early treatment to make sure we will have a smooth, healthy, and successful pregnancy.
Chances of getting pregnant at 40
First of all, let’s see what did the experts say about chances of getting pregnant at 40. Why age matters?
“At age 40, an average healthy woman has only 5% of getting pregnant per cycle, or 44% of chances of getting pregnant within 1 year “Derived from webmd.com
Age is the most critical key point that affect fertility. With age, you will face some disorder that will affect our ability to conceive- both men and women. By the time you hit 45, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says, getting pregnant naturally is unlikely for most women.
In another words, it is easier to get pregnant if you are in your 20’s or 30’s. One out of every 4 people, will get pregnant for any one mentrual cycle, at this age.
Risk of getting pregnant at 40
Starting a family at a later age, and getting pregnant above 35 are very common nowadays. Financial reason is one of the most common reasons why young couples only choose to start a family much later in life. When we are much older, we are more financially established. Raising a child is a long term “investment”, not only we have to provide food and shelter, but education too.
Now, no matter whether you have a baby fever strike in your forties or if you decide to get pregnant at 40, it is important to know the risk, to help us to be mentally prepared on what to expect and what we should know in order to have a smooth and healthy pregnancy.
Fertility drops when you get older. For women, your eggs are getting fewer in your ovaries when you get older. Therefore, fewer eggs in your ovaries will lower your chances of getting conceived. The quality of the eggs also will deteriorate by age. Your older eggs are likely to have abnormal chromosomes, which could lead to higher chances of miscarriage. Some women may have some disorder problems like endometriosis and uterine fibroids in their thirties which make them harder to conceive.
As men age, the sperm tends to swim slower and begin to lose shape. The quality of the sperms and the quantities are decreased too. Therefore, age is a major obstacle for couples who want to have babies at a later age. However, do not lose hope, you will still be able to become a mother or a father with the help of techology.
Complication during pregnancy
Older women may have other health issues in their 40s such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and so on. These health problems could become a hindrance to a successful pregnancy as such conditions can put a woman in a higher risk situation and if left untreated, they could lead to a serious problem for the mother and the baby.
For example, if you already have high blood pressure before you pregnant, will put you in the higher risks of getting pre-eclampsia during your pregnancy. It is a condition when there is a sudden increase in blood pressure and causing damage to your organ during your pregnancy.
If you want to have a child in your 40s, your doctor will usually conduct more tests on you and monitor your health conditions closely. Even if you have no health issues before pregnancy, if you get pregnant at 40, you will likely to get some complications during pregnancy.
Most women will likely to develop certain cardiovascular problems like high blood pressure and heart disease during their pregnancy at 40. This is one of the reasons women over 40 are at higher risk for pre-eclampsia, which can be life-threatening and gestational diabetes (abnormally high blood sugar during pregnancy). These conditions can create problems for both mother and baby — including low (or abnormally high) birth weights and premature deliveries.
As you age, there is a tendency of developing placenta previa, a condition in which the placenta either partly or fully covers the cervix, which is the exit area of your uterus. Placenta previa is dangerous, you will bleed more during pregnancy and the deliveries. It will also lead to an increased risk of premature labor and stillbirth.
You are more likely to have a miscarriage if you’re older. At age 40, 27% of pregnancies end in a miscarriage compared to 16% for those 30 or younger.
The quality of the eggs and sperms may have deteriorated as you age. Chromosome problems increase with mother’s age. The risk of having a child with Down syndrome goes up. According to ACOG, at the age of 20, 1 in 1,480 children will be born with the condition. But at age 40, this risk goes up to 1 in 85. At age 45, your child’s risk is 1 in 35.
By now, you are already aware of the risk factors, but become a mom at over 40 is really possible. There are many medical tests and intervention now exist to reduce some of the risks face in the second and third trimester. Experts still suggest the couples who are over 40s who wish to become parents, seek for profesional help early.
How to get pregnant at 40?
Body check up
This is an important step before you try to conceive, by knowing your health status and whether you are ready to get pregnant. The doctor will run tests to see if there are factors that are affecting your ability to get pregnant. These may include ultrasounds to look at your uterus and ovaries, sexually transmitted disease screening, or checking on any disorder that can affect fertility such as uterine fibroids and endometriosis. For the safety of your future pregnancy, seek for early treatment is necessary.
Living a healthy lifestyle is good to prepare for healthy pregnancy. Stop alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco use. Taking prenatal vitamins with folic acid at least 3 months before you try to conceive and after throughout your pregnancy. Maintain your healthy body mass index, not too overweight or underweight.
You still can get pregnant naturally at age of 40. If you hit 45, chances of getting pregnant naturally is unlikely for most women, according to ACOG. You may use these methods to help you conceive after age of 40.
- Fertility drugs that stimulate egg production.
- Assisted reproductive technology (ART). In vitro fertilization or IVF is one of the common ART. It is done by removing healthy eggs from the ovaries and fertilizing them in the laboratory before inserting them back to the uterus. It can also works on surrogates.
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI). This is done by injecting the sperms into the uterus. This is helpful if male factor infertility is suspected.
If you are not ready to get pregnant when you are still young, you can consider freezing your eggs for IVF later. Talk to your doctor to know about any of these in detail.
Successful stories: Celebrity mothers who give birth at the age over 40s
There are many people able to confront all these risks and successfully give birth to healthy babies in their 40s. Let’s us see some successful stories.
- Korean mega-star, Choi Ji Woo, made headlines in December 2019 when she announced that she’s pregnant with her first child at the age of 44.
- Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi , become a mother of her second son at the age of 41.
- Korean actress Lee Young Ae, gave birth to fraternal twins, a boy and a girl when she was 40 years old through natural childbirth.
- Singapore actress, Fann Wong became a first-time mum at 43.
- Japanese singer, Ayumi Hamasaki, gave birth to a baby boy at the age of 41.
Many western singers and actresses were giving birth to their babies after their forties:- Nicole Kidman, Gwen Stefani, Halle Belly, Janet Jackson, Kelly Preston, and the list goes on.
Let us see how the IVF works,
Disclaimer: This article is solely for general knowledge, it shall not be used to replace or supersede any professional advice.