01.07.2014

Likelihood of pregnancy at 40

Having made the exciting decision to start your own family you are sure to be wondering how long it will take to get pregnant. Most women will be able to conceive naturally and give birth to a healthy baby if they get pregnant at 35 years old. About half of the women who don't get pregnant in the first year conceive during the following year, giving a pregnancy rate of 92 per cent within two years. Age aside, there are some steps you can take to give yourself the best possible chance of conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy. Learn more about getting pregnant in your 20s, 30s or 40s, or get tips, advice and support in our friendly community of mums and mums-to-be.
Join now to receive free weekly newsletters tracking your baby’s development and yours throughout your pregnancy. Consider this chart[1]which shows how the likelihood of a woman getting pregnant decreases from about an 86% chance between the ages of 20 and 24 years to about 35% between the ages of 40 and 44 years.


It's important to note that for couples trying to conceive naturally, we typically give women over the age of 35 only about six months of actively trying to get pregnant - which means monitoring ovulation monthly and having regular intercourse -  before we recommend that both partners have a thorough work up to evaluate fertility. Fortunately, there are a number of fertility options that we can offer older women who are having trouble getting pregnant naturally including assisted reproductive technologies like Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). If you've had unprotected sex and are wondering if you at risk of pregnancy, this tool from Planned Parenthood can help. For some women having a multiple pregnancy brings them their dream family in one pregnancy.
But if you are over 35, and finding that positive pregnancy test elusive, it is important to seek help sooner rather than later (NCCWCH 2013:6). This likelihood decreases even further by age 45 to a mere 5% chance of getting pregnant spontaneously. I'm happy to answer any questions you may have about getting pregnant after 40 and to discuss the best options for you when it comes to conceiving a child…please feel free to leave your comments here.


As women grow older the likelihood of getting pregnant falls while the likelihood of infertility rises. This could prevent fertilisation altogether or increase the likelihood of an ectopic pregnancy (CKS 2007, NCCWCH 2013:129, Utting and Bewley 2011).
It's a fact that the spontaneous pregnancy rates for women over 40 are much lower than women under the age of 35.  Today, so many women are putting off having children to pursue career and education, yet are many times unaware how age affects fertility. The likelihood of infertility is about 15% between the ages of 35 and 39 and then rises sharply to 32% at age 40.



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