12.02.2015

Is it wise to get pregnant at 40

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.
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. But there is no denying that the chances of getting pregnant naturally after the age of 40 significantly drop.
Perhaps you've put off pregnancy to concentrate on your career, or because it’s taken you a while to find the right partner (Bewley et al 2009, Utting and Bewley 2011). There's never been a better time to try to get pregnant as an older mum, given the range of fertility treatments available.
If you've been with your partner for a while you will have had the chance to get to know each other in all sorts of circumstances.


If you do conceive, you are more likely to need extra care during your pregnancy (Franz and Husslein 2010, Montan 2007, Utting and Bewley 2011). All women are offered screening tests in pregnancy for genetic conditions, such as Down's syndrome. Age aside, there are steps you can take to give yourself the best chance for a normal pregnancy and a healthy baby. If you are in your 40s, and have been having unprotected sex two to three times a week for three months, without getting pregnant, see your GP.
Discover how to get a fertility test, find out the best time to have baby-making sex, or talk to others who are hoping to conceive in the Actively trying group of our friendly community. Join now to receive free weekly newsletters tracking your baby’s development and yours throughout your pregnancy. Many 40-plus women do conceive, although there's no denying that your odds of getting pregnant are a lot lower than just a few years ago. At 40, your chance of conceiving is about 20 per cent (based on the average annual rate of pregnancy per cycle), falling to less than five per cent by the mid-40s (NCCWCH 2013:65).


But keep in mind that there are plenty of women in their 40s who have trouble-free pregnancies and perfectly healthy babies.
But what it means is you'll get the care you need to ensure you and your unborn baby stay as well as possible. One last chance for pregnancy: a review of 2,705 in vitro fertilization cycles initiated in women age 40 years and above. Her youngest child, Edward, was conceived when she was 48; all her pregnancies were natural, without any fertility treatment. 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. 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.



Stages of pregnancy lesson
Teenage pregnancy health education
Dreams of being pregnant


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