03.08.2014

Can i still get pregnant at age 42

Getting pregnant can be hard at the best of times but when you're over a certain age unfortunately things can get even harder. We spoke to Professor Geeta Nargund, Medical Director at Create Health, to find out all you need to know about getting pregnant after 40 so you can be as prepared as you need. Not to paint a bleak picture but naturally risks are heightened in pregnancies after the age of 40.
If you’re starting to worry that you’ll stick out like a sore-thumb in the antenatal classes don’t worry - more and more people are delaying motherhood - whatever the reason, the result is the same. But there is no denying that the chances of getting pregnant naturally after the age of 40 significantly drop.
But don’t be disheartened there is a much more positive picture that has only just come into play.The NHS National Guidelines for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines have just had a recent update from their 2004 requirements of IVF only allowing women up to the age of 39 to have the treatment on the NHS.
However, in older women and women with low egg reserve (high FSH or low AMH levels), Natural and Mild IVF can be more successful than conventional IVF.This isn’t just reserved for heterosexual couples success rates are higher in single women and lesbian couples with the use of donor sperm. Single women and lesbian couples can try insemination with donor sperm as the first option if their fallopian tubes are open as long as their egg reserve is not too low. Conventional IVF with suppression of ovaries is another option but may not be necessary for women over 40 and in fact may lead to unnecessary use of high stimulation and reduced response and quality of eggs. Sarah Briggs, a former senior manager for Watford Council and British Waterways, who is married to David, a 38-year-old accountant, and lives near Carlisle, Cumbria, says she’s had no problem at all getting pregnant in her 40s.


A woman’s egg supply is naturally going to decrease as she ages and with the eggs that remain there is a heightened chance of chromosomal problems like Down's Syndrome, birth defects and miscarriage. Natural IVF can help even in situations where women are pre-menopausal or have very low egg reserve and where fertility drugs do not work. Two years ago a major study from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists warned that women aged 35 were six times more likely to have problems conceiving than those ten years younger.
He says age is definitely relevant and that to say otherwise is irresponsible, as it gives women false hope. It followed 2004 research that suggested of those having sex twice a week, 82 per cent of 35 to 39-year-olds conceived within a year - just 4 per cent fewer than those aged 27 to 34. Their eldest, Alex, aged nine, was conceived less than six weeks after the couple started trying for a baby when Sarah was 41. Her youngest child, Edward, was conceived when she was 48; all her pregnancies were natural, without any fertility treatment. It claims that women over 30 are being panicked into believing they have fallen over a ‘fertility cliff’, when the decline is nowhere near as steep as generally assumed.'I see age as just a number. Isabella, now seven-and-a-half, was also conceived within six weeks when Sarah was 43.Then, aged 48, she decided to come off the Pill because she wanted to be able to recognise the signs of the menopause.
But I’ve read somewhere that women who have children later live longer [some scientists believe the rate at which a woman’s reproductive system ages is directly linked to the speed at which the rest of her body does].


A lot of the couples were over 35 and had been trying to get pregnant for ten years.’Ultimately, she thinks it’s unhelpful for doctors to put pressure on women to have their children younger. My grandmother is still alive at 101, so I am taking hope from that.’Sarah’s story is mirrored by that of former TV correspondent-turned-writer Claudia Spahr. Claudia, originally from Yorkshire but now based in Spain with her husband Javier, 30, says each time she conceived naturally and extremely quickly, with textbook pregnancies.She feels so strongly that older women face an unwarranted barrage of negativity if they want to try for families that she wrote Right Time Baby, a guide to later motherhood.
When she began trying for a baby aged 40, her doctor told her it would be more difficult than for a younger woman.
One in three British men and one in five women aged between 20 and 34 still lives with their parents.
No wonder the average age for a British woman to have her first child is 30, and 35 for university-educated women.
The tipping point came in 2002, when US academic Sylvia Ann Hewlett published Baby Hunger, containing the unnerving statistic (that was misleading, since it only covered a tiny sample) that 42 per cent of career women had no children at the age of 40, and most deeply regretted it. Women do lose 90 per cent of their eggs by 30, but that still leaves them with 10,000, when only one is needed to make a baby.



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