25.05.2014

Can you get pregnant at age 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. Like many women, you may have put off having children until the time felt right, and now find yourself in your 30s, wondering how fertile you are.
You may find it encouraging knowing that the number of women over the age of 30 having babies has risen in recent decades (ONS 2010) . Most women will be able to conceive naturally and give birth to a healthy baby if they get pregnant at 35 years old.
The average age at which women have in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment in the UK is rising. While many men remain fertile into their 50s and beyond, the proportion of men with sperm disorders increases with age (RCOG 2011). In fact, the older you are, the more likely you are to conceive non-identical twins (Beemsterboer et al 2006, NHS 2010b, Utting and Bewley 2011). This over-production of FSH can result in more than one follicle ripening and releasing an egg. 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. Figures for women aged 30 to 34 and aged 35 to 39 are fairly similar, with 94 per cent and 90 per cent conceiving within two years, respectively (NCCWCH 2013: 65).
You have fewer good quality eggs left, making it more difficult to conceive (Bewley et al 2009, RCOG 2011, Utting and Bewley 2011). As a woman ages it is more likely that she may have had longer exposure to a condition that has not been treated.
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. If the number of days between when you ovulate and when your next period starts is too few (less than 10), this can mean that although you may conceive, the fertilised egg is expelled before it can implant in the lining of the womb. Once you have reached menopause, pregnancy is not possible, and in the lead up to menopause (the perimenopause) it can be very difficult to become pregnant.
These are abnormal growths of muscular tissue in the womb that can block the Fallopian tubes or stop a fertilised egg implanting. Being underweight or overweight can alter your menstrual cycle and reduce your chances of conception.
If you, or your partner, are taking any medication, check with your doctor that it won't reduce your fertility. Sometimes all clinical tests will be reported as normal, but after years of trying, you're not pregnant. Thanks to the wide availability of contraceptives in Canada, we now have more control than ever over if and when we have kids, and how many we have.
However, research shows that many women don’t realize how quickly their fertility can drop, and how early that can start to happen. This gradual change in fertility is mostly due to a decrease in the numberand quality of eggs in your ovaries.The loss of eggs begins even before you are born. There are several medical technologies that can help some women get pregnant, although they cannot necessarily make up for age-related fertility decline. In vitro fertilization (IVF): Eggs are removed from your ovaries and are fertilized with sperm in a laboratory. Oocyte donation: An egg is provided by a female donor, usually in her early thirties or younger.
For a woman without many eggs left, this may be the only effective treatment; pregnancy rates associated with oocyte donation are significantly higher than those associated with ovarian hyperstimulation or in vitro fertilization alone. Some pregnancy complications become more likely when you use assisted reproductive technologies, including the risk of having twins or triplets.
The good news is that many women over the age of 35 become pregnant and have healthy pregnancies and babies. It is standard to offer all pregnant women, regardless of age, noninvasive screening for chromosomal anomalies using ultrasound and blood tests. If you have been trying to conceive and have not been successful, your doctor, nurse or midwife may refer you to a fertility specialist.


One of the first things your health-care provider will check is your partner’s fertility, by doing a sperm analysis. The effect of a father’s age on fertility and pregnancy are not as well defined as for maternal age. The Michigan Egg Bank brings proven frozen egg technology to women seeking fertility preservation prior to cancer treatment or for lifestyle choices.
After the initial shock of a cancer diagnosis, many younger women worry next about their fertility and whether the treatment will rob them of the ability to have children. If you have been diagnosed with cancer and are interested in freezing your eggs, it is important to contact your cancer doctor and our center as soon as possible so that the cancer and egg freezing treatments can be coordinated. You know the most fertile years are in your 20s, but want to get a better idea of how age affects your fertility. Fertility starts to decline for women from about the age of 30, dropping down more steeply from the age of 35 (CKS 2007, NCCWCH 2013:65).
Even though male fertility also declines with age (RCOG 2011, Utting and Bewley 2011), it tends to happen gradually for men. It's thought that your body has to produce more of the hormone that makes you ovulate as you get older. 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).
An untreated chlamydia infection, for example, can develop into pelvic inflammatory disease, blocking your fallopian tubes.
If your mother had an early menopause your chances are much higher, so try to find out at what age your mother started menopause. Clinical guidelines in the UK advise a maximum of 1-2 units per day for women and 3-4 units per day for men, whether you are trying to conceive or not. This can be very frustrating and distressing because there is nothing to focus on that can be rectified or treated. If you have been trying for a baby for a year with no success and are under 35, we recommend that you speak to your healthcare professional for further advice. Many of us also don’t know that fertility treatments cannot always make up for that decline. You might want time to take advantage of valuable work, educational or personal opportunities. It is important for women and their partners to understand how age can affect fertility, pregnancy and childbirth, and to what extent medical technologies can help.
As you get older, you are more likely to have experienced other medical problems – such as endometriosis, fibroids, tubal disease or polyps – which can reduce your fertility. It’s important to understand that these technologies can be invasive and expensive, can have undesired side effects or complications, and coverage by provincial health plans varies by province. This will cause your body to release more eggs than normal, increasing your chances of getting pregnant. A fertilized egg is then transferred to your uterus, with the hope that it will implant itself. Once her egg has been fertilized in a laboratory, it is transferred to your uterus, with the hope that it will implant itself. Women carrying multiples have a higher risk of pregnancy loss, preterm birth and complications. Women who become pregnant over the age of 35 have an increased risk of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, preeclampsia, hypertension, gestational diabetes, placental complications, intrauterine growth restriction, and caesarean section. Talking with your health-care provider before trying to conceive will help identify if you are at risk for any problems which can be prevented or treated in advance.
For women who are under the age of 35, this is usually done after one year of trying to become pregnant. There are many causes of infertility – for both males and females – and not all are related to age. The egg freezing treatment takes about two weeks and is usually fit in between your initial diagnostic procedures and your cancer treatment. For example, if a 30 year old woman freezes her eggs, she can expect a pregnancy rate typical for 30 year olds when she thaws, fertilizes and transfers the resulting embryos when she’s ready to get pregnant at age 40 years old.


Only one or two ultrasounds and a few blood tests and you are ready for your embryo transfer. For $9995, you will receive approximately 5-7 frozen eggs with a guarantee of at least one embryo for transfer. We are absolutely thrilled to help so many families get started–or to add a baby brother or sister. As women grow older the likelihood of getting pregnant falls while the likelihood of infertility rises. By the age of 40 only two in five of those who wish to have a baby will be able to do so (RCOG 2011). The decline in male fertility can affect the health of the children they may go on to have (Utting and Bewley 2011). But it is also worth bearing in mind that caring for twins is more demanding of your time, emotions and finances than caring for one baby.
This could prevent fertilisation altogether or increase the likelihood of an ectopic pregnancy (CKS 2007, NCCWCH 2013:129, Utting and Bewley 2011).
The paradox of declining fertility but increasing twinning rates with advancing maternal age. So one of the easiest ways to help increase your chances is to find when you're most fertile. If she had an early menopause it may be worth talking to a healthcare professional about your future plans for pregnancy. Visit your doctor or nurse to know the ideal weight for you and for practical advice on gaining or losing weight if it's necessary. If you're over 35, it's a good idea to visit your doctor after around six months of trying and if you're over 40, ask your doctor for advice when you start trying to conceive. It is estimated that around one third of couples with unexplained infertility will get pregnant naturally within three years without intervention4. If you are aged over 35, you should seek help after 6 months of trying, and immediately if you are over 40. And, when you have kids later in life, you may be better prepared to cope with some of the challenges of pregnancy and parenting.
The condition of your eggs also changes as you age; they have a higher rate of chromosomal anomalies, which increases your chances of early miscarriage.
Women aged 35 to 37 should be referred to a specialist after 6 months of trying to become pregnant, and women who are 38 or older and are trying to conceive should be referred to a specialist without waiting.
While these tests may be useful for determining if a woman is a candidate for assisted reproductive technologies, they have little reliability for predicting pregnancy.
When using a fresh donor, there is always a risk of canceling the donor cycle due to the donor’s poor response to medications, donor non-compliance, poor quality eggs recruited or an unplanned donor pregnancy. Your body produces more FSH because there are fewer viable eggs left in your ovaries (Utting and Bewley 2011). Losing weight may also help you to conceive if you have the ovulatory disorder PCOS (CKS 2007, NCCWCH 2013:180). Symptoms can include weight gain, excess hair growth as well as problems trying to conceive.
Smoking is very bad for the health of your unborn baby and it is best to stop smoking before you become pregnant.
Less is known about fertility in older men but it's thought to decline from around the age of 40 too.
As you approach menopause your periods may become fewer and further between, making ovulation increasingly irregular too.
Therefore, making sure you know when you ovulate and having intercourse at this time will maximise your chances of a natural conception.



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