05.08.2014

What are chances of getting pregnant 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.
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. Most women will be able to conceive naturally and give birth to a healthy baby if they get pregnant at 35 years old.
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). 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). The two most common causes of female infertility are ovulation problems and blockages to the fallopian tubes as a result of infection (CKS 2007). 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). Additionally, for couples who come to the Vasectomy Reversal Center of America considering a vasectomy reversal, we make sure to educate them about the chances of conceiving naturally when the woman is over the age of 35. You know the most fertile years are in your 20s, but want to get a better idea of how age affects your fertility.
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.
Many women believe that if they are getting a regular period, that means they are ovulating (true) and there's no problem with fertility or conceiving (not always true).
But, it's important to note that even these fertility treatments are not as effective after age 38 and into the early 40's because of the woman's aging eggs.


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. However, the success rates of IVF treatment for women over 40 using their own eggs are low, and have not increased much over the past decade (RCOG 2011). 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. Your body produces more FSH because there are fewer viable eggs left in your ovaries (Utting and Bewley 2011).



Clearblue pregnancy test and conception indicator
When to test for pregnancy after clomid


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