Everything you need to know about getting pregnant at 40 and above

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Today so many women are in a race to get pregnant in their thirties. They feel the infamous biological clock ticking and want to get started on their family. It is understandable. Having a baby before you are forty is statistically proven to be less complicated and easier. In addition, a lower age difference between you and your child makes things easier in later life too. However, we should not look at forty as the final date that we can have a child. Too many people choose options that are drastic because they believe having a child at forty or older is impossible. Having a child after you are forty is perfectly normal and it happens regularly. There are a few things to be aware of though.

The first thing to understand is the probability. The likelihood of getting pregnant decreases as you get older, it is that simple. The odds of getting pregnant in a given month when you are in your 20s and trying is somewhere between 20% to 25%. At age 40 that figure drops to 5%. At the age of 49, it drops to 1%. While 1% is low remember the odds of winning the lottery are 1 in 13,983,816 and people win it all the time, so 1 in 100 is still pretty good odds. 

The other positive factor to note is that the 1% figure is slowly increasing. The amount of people having children over the age of 40 continues to increase and the possible ages are increasing too. The reality is that as long as you are healthy and your ovaries are functioning well you can still get pregnant at any age. I would go as far as to say that if you are healthy, ovulate regularly, and are over 40 you have a good chance of getting pregnant through sexual intercourse within a six month period. If you are planning to have a child, schedule an appointment with your doctor so you can ensure you and your ovaries are in good shape. Don’t be surprised if your doctor encourages you to change your diet and prescribes some supplements to help you get pregnant as well.

The statistics show that those over the age of forty are more likely to encounter complications during pregnancy and birth. With this in mind if you are pregnant you will likely need to schedule more sessions with your doctor compared to someone aged under forty. Fertility treatments are of course still an option for women over forty years of age but they should not be relied on. For women over forty IUI success rates are as low as 5% while as IVF success rates are as low as 15% per cycle. This can be an expensive option and you will start going through cycles quickly based on those % figures.

There are some common myths about getting pregnant that may be good to know. When a couple is trying to get pregnant they often think they should have sex as often as they can. There is really no need to do this (except for the fun involved, of course). Having sex every two to three days is sufficient to cover a period as sperm can survive in the female body for up to five days.

I hope this shows that while it is more difficult for women in their forties to get pregnant it is certainly possible. Before you try to get pregnant do talk to your doctor about the increased health risks for you and your baby and make sure you are in good health at all times.