09.11.2015

Risks of pregnancy after age 40

While women are physically capable of carrying a child into their 40s, their chances of a healthy pregnancy decrease around age 35 with a much faster decline after 40. Elective Egg Freezing should be a consideration for women who want to preserve their best chances of a health pregnancy but are not yet ready for children. A recent study in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility found that 40-year-old women treated for infertility had a 25% chance of achieving pregnancy using their own eggs. The risk of chromosomal abnormalities also increases as women age with Down’s syndrome being the most common outcome. At IVF New England, we specialize in helping women over 35 become pregnant with their own egg or with donor egg, if appropriate, using a treatment plan that best suits their individual needs. Using donor egg boosts the odds of getting pregnant considerably, and, that’s how most of the older celebrity moms are doing it — whether they admit it or not. Given the range of assisted reproductive technology treatment options (ART) available to protect fertility and help older women try to get pregnant, now is the time to be proactive and take control of your fertility potential. Getting pregnant in your forties is a little bit harder and more risky than when you are much younger like in your twenties or thirties. Egg SupplyIn your forties, the egg supply also reduces as a result of your age which significantly lowers your fertility, as noted by Julia Johnson, a specialist in infertility and chair of the obstetrics and gynecology department at UMass Memorial Medical Center.


Yet the downside of delaying pregnancy is declining ovarian reserve, which makes it harder to get pregnant and increases the risks, especially for miscarriage and chromosome abnormalities.
This condition is characterized by a low number of eggs in a woman’s ovaries and a greater likelihood that the remaining eggs will have chromosomal abnormalities that increase the risk for miscarriage and birth defects. On average, women have more healthy eggs at age 30 than they do at age 40; however, decline in egg reserve can happen quite quickly in any given individual. After age 35, there is an increased likelihood of high blood pressure, diabetes, placental problems, low birth weight and preterm delivery, multiple births and still births. In vitro fertilization is an important option for older women with very good success rates.  For women in their 40s who elect eggs donated by women in their 20s or early 30s, the chance of a healthy baby is consistent with the age of the egg donor.
She further notes that you have better odds of getting pregnant at the age of 41 than at the age of 43.Her point is underlined by a study in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility.
The chances of a woman using her own eggs to achieve pregnancy are greater the earlier there is an assessment of her ovarian reserve. Among women who did get pregnant, the miscarriage rate was 24% for 40-year-olds, 38% for 43-year-olds, and 54% for 44-year-olds. Even though some of these pregnancies are induced by fertility treatments, others are not and occur naturally.It's nonetheless important to keep in mind that getting pregnant in your forties has more risks in comparison to a younger age.


According to the research, forty years old women treated for infertility had a 25% chance of getting pregnant with their own eggs. The mother plays a big role in determining the nature of the pregnancy, and as we all know, it's impossible to reverse the age of your eggs. Risks of MiscarriageHowever, by the age of 43, the percentage dropped to 10%, and by 44 years the percentage had dropped to 1.6 percent.
Among those who conceived, the rate of miscarriage was 24% for 40 year-olds and 38% for 43 year-olds, with the rate escalating to 54% for 44 year-olds.Fertility expert James Goldfarb says that in his thirty years of practice in that field, he has never come across a woman who got pregnant with her own eggs after she had hit 46 years. He further notes that those women who get pregnant at that age rely on donor eggs to boost their chances.Other ComplicationsIn addition to the risk of miscarriage and infertility, women over the age of 40 have higher chances of developing pregnancy complications.



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