21.02.2015

Having a baby in your early 40's

As long as you are in your early 40s, natural pregnancy is a possibility and there is a 20% chance that you might get pregnant.
Getting pregnant in the 40s has a fair few benefits and the most important among them is that you are financially very secure and are in a good position to take care of all the needs of the baby. The chance of a miscarriage happening is far greater in women who become pregnant in their late 30s or early 40s. Chromosomal abnormalities in your eggs can raise the risk of miscarriage and birth defects. In your early forties you have about a one in five to one in 10 chance of a live birth per treatment cycle (HFEA 2011, NCCWCH 2013).
You may wish to explore the idea of using donor eggs or frozen embryos to try to conceive, as it will increase your chances of having a baby (Klipstein et al 2005, Serour et al 2010, Utting and Bewley 2011). The risk of miscarriage and chromosomal problems is consistent with the age of your egg donor, who will be in her 20s or 30s.
Probably the greatest advantage of waiting to have children in your 40s is that you are emotionally and financially ready for them. 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. Your income is likely to be higher, as you will have had time to establish yourself in your career. By the time you reach your 40s, you may have a sense that you've been there, done that. As you approach the menopause, your hormones work harder to release an egg from your ovaries.
If you have assisted conception, the follicle-stimulating hormones you'll be given also increase your chances of conceiving more than one baby (Utting and Bewley 2011).
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). 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. It might be because your career took precedence or your search for a right partner went on for too long. However, the chances of getting pregnant naturally fall down to less than 5% if you have stepped in your mid-40s because till then the production of eggs by your ovaries start to die down and their quality also declines. You will have progressed in your career to the point where you have achieved everything you wanted and can now give full attention to the baby.
Women over the age of 40 are more at risk of having a miscarriage than a woman who is in her mid 20s. Exercising regularly is also important as it can help you in remaining fit and keeping your energy levels high. Giving up smoking and drinking during pregnancy is also necessary for the health of both you and your baby. Ask your doctor before making use of any medication or supplement to make sure that it is safe for you to use.
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). As early as 15 years before you go through menopause, the number of your eggs begins to decline. Your life experience means you'll feel pretty confident about your approach to child-rearing (Hansen and Joshi 2008). You'll be less concerned with your own needs, and will be happy instead to focus on your child. From your mid-40s, if you conceive naturally, you have a one in two chance of having twins (NHS Choices 2010a, Utting and Bewley 2011).


Your age will be factored in to the result to give you a risk of your baby having a problem. Most specialists start with blood tests and investigations to check your fallopian tubes or your partner's sperm. If you and your partner have been together for a long time then you two would have better understanding and will be well-equipped to handle the burdens of parenthood.
Having high blood pressure and diabetes prior to being pregnant are considered some of the reasons for pre-eclampsia. They must remember to include all the nutrients in their diet so that they remain healthy and are able to give birth to a healthy baby.
Ask your doctor about the weight you should put on for delivering a healthy baby since having the right weight reduces the risk of preterm birth as well as other pregnancy complications like high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. By your 40s, the eggs that your ovaries release each month are more likely to have structural problems (chromosomal abnormalities). From 43 to 44 onwards, your chances of success using your own eggs really are minimal, because conception rates per cycle of IVF are so low.
The two eggs can be fertilised and implant in your uterus, resulting in non-identical twins.
But what it means is you'll get the care you need to ensure you and your unborn baby stay as well as possible. Being 40 years old means that you have matured as a woman and are at a stage of life where you have experienced things and are better placed to make parenting decisions for your baby. The older the women becomes, the greater are the chances of the baby being born with this condition.
Moreover, women that become naturally pregnant in their mid 40s have a 50 percent chance of having twins.



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