WHAT’S THE TRUTH?
Are women today disillusioned when it comes to the truth about conception after age 40? We see celebrities and famous women on television all the time, giving birth at 40, 41, 45, or even 47 years old. But, is that the way that things really work? Not exactly. Chances are, women don’t really understand that getting pregnant after 40 can bring lots of difficulties if it is possible at all.
Women are born with a finite number of eggs, and once those eggs are gone, they’re gone. The body is also designed to use up the most viable eggs first, and save the eggs that are not so great for last. That means, the best eggs will be used up during a woman’s twenties, and the not-so-great eggs will be used up during her late, and twenties or thirties.
Getting pregnant after age 40 is not easy. There is a dramatic decline in a woman’s fertility once she hits 35, and an even more dramatic drop once she hits 40. A woman in her 40’s has about a 5 percent chance of getting pregnant in each ovulation cycle. When you are 40, your chance of conceiving within a year is around 50 percent.
However, once you hit 43, that chance plummets and a woman aged 43 has only around a 4 percent chance of conceiving within a year. When a woman hits her mid-forties, she is usually really at the end of her egg supply, and any remaining eggs will not be a great choice. There is a higher chance of chromosomal abnormalities with pregnancies after age 40 because of this.
THE HARD FACTS
As you can see, getting pregnant in your forties is not all rainbows and sunshine. In fact, experts say that it is VERY rare for a woman to get pregnant after age 43 without using donor eggs. Miscarriage rates for women over 40 are much higher than for younger women as well. The miscarriage rate for women aged 40-44 is around 35 percent, and for women over age 45 it is 50 percent.
This is compared to around a ten percent chance of miscarriage for women in their twenties. Complications for moms to be in their forties, such as high blood pressure or gestational diabetes are also much more common than they are for younger moms. In fact, older moms are at twice the risk for these complications than younger moms.
WHAT TO KNOW
It is important to be aware of your fertility and not to be disillusioned with the ability to conceive. The media makes it seem like any woman can rush right out and get pregnant any time and unfortunately that is just not the case.
It is important to plan ahead when it comes to motherhood and make sure that you really do know what you want. Talk with your doctor to make sure that once you are ready to get pregnant, you will be able to. He or she can give you tips or advice that will make your fertility journey easier.