Pregnancy chances 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. When couples are trying on their own to get pregnant the fertility issue that reduces chances for success is related to the quality of the eggs. 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.

Being underweight or overweight can alter your menstrual cycle and reduce your chances of conception. Sometimes all clinical tests will be reported as normal, but after years of trying, you're not pregnant. 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).
If your mother had an early menopause your chances are much higher, so try to find out at what age your mother started menopause. 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).
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. It is estimated that around one third of couples with unexplained infertility will get pregnant naturally within three years without intervention4. Smoking is very bad for the health of your unborn baby and it is best to stop smoking before you become pregnant.
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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