Pregnancy At Age 40 And After 40 - Everything You Need To Know

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Sometimes as a working woman, you have a career that is too important, and you often plan to raise a family late. However, by the time you reach your career goals, you are already in your 40’s.

Is your case similar? Are you planning to conceive in your 40’s, but you are not sure whether it’s a wise decision? Well, don’t panic! Though there are some problems with getting pregnant after 40, it is not completely impossible. Read the following post to know more about pregnancy at 40!

Chances Of Pregnancy At 40

It depends on how far you are into your 40s. During the early 40s, your chance of conceiving is about 20 percent, and it depends upon your menstrual cycle. The percentage further deteriorates to 15 percent during your mid-40s.

After 45, your chances of getting pregnant reduces. The number of eggs begins to diminish by this age and the fertility rate decreases. Your reduced fertility not only depends upon the number of eggs but also upon the quality of the eggs.

By your 40s, most of the eggs your ovaries release are not perfectly healthy and more likely to have chromosomal abnormalities. These abnormalities in your eggs increase greater risks of miscarriage and birth defects. Such complications seem more prevalent in older women (1).

[ Read: Tips To Improve Chances Of Getting Pregnant ]

Advantages Of Getting Pregnant At 40

Though your fertility rate decreases with your increasing age, there are certain benefits associated with having a baby in 40s:

1. Financially Stable:

  • One of the greatest merits of having a baby in your 40s is that you are financially stable to take their complete responsibility.
  • By this age, your career flourishes and you reach to a secure and stable condition that you can support your family in all aspects of life.

2. Raising A Kid In A Positive Environment:

  • As you get the chance to spend long years with your life partner, you know each other in a better way. The bonding is rather strong, and the family offers a solid foundation for their child’s upbringing.
  • Young parents have a tendency to fight and quarrel, due to a financially unstable condition. It often leads to divorce, which can affect your child’s mind.

3. Taking Mature And Wise Decisions:

  • As a mature individual, you will possess the ability to make wise parenting decisions for your baby.

Disadvantages Of Getting Pregnant In Your 40s

There are certain health and pregnancy complications associated with pregnancy after 40. If you conceive in your older age, it is better to remain in extra care during your sensitive phase.

Here are some of the common health issues that you may face during pregnancy in your 40s:

1. Diseases:

  • When you conceive as a woman in your late 40s, it increases your risks of suffering from numerous health diseases, which include gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, placental abruption, high blood pressure and placenta praevia.
  • During the, 40s some of the common issues you come across are irregular periods and fertility problems. Consult with the gynecologist, as he prescribes effective medications to cure the menstrual disorders. For fertility issues, your gynecologist recommends you to visit a fertility, specialist.

2. Pregnancy Complications:

  • There are several birth complexities associated with getting pregnant in 40s such as a caesarean section, low birth weight of the baby, awkward position of the baby and premature birth.
  • In the 40s, the eggs are likely to develop a certain chromosomal problem that leads to miscarriage and low birth weight of the baby (2).

What Decreases Fertility With Increasing Age?

Research concludes that most females above 40 suffer from ovum related issues, which is the primary cause of infertility. With appropriate medical treatment and restoration of the ovarian cycle, the female reproductive organs in 40-year-olds become competent enough to bear a healthy pregnancy. Additionally, the hormonal secretion declines in women in their 40s. The normal ovulation process substantially decreases, and the factor decreases the fertility rate in older women.

Useful Tips To Increase Your Success Rate Of Getting Pregnant At 40 Years Old

By making some lifestyle changes, you can increase your success rate of getting pregnant in the 40s. Follow the helpful tips to prepare yourself for pregnancy at or after the age of 40:

1. Consult An Experienced Gynecologist:

  • It is better to remain in touch with an experienced gynecologist, who performs all the requisite medical tests to diagnose your fertility conditions.
  • The doctor guides you through right treatments and methods, which increases your chances of conceiving in the 40s.
  • The medical practitioner performs a routine examination of your body that usually consists of a Pap smear and pelvic exam. The check-up takes around 15-20 minutes time.
  • Ask your doctor about how to elevate your chances of conceiving naturally. Always have an open conversation with the doctor and inform him about your past medical history and your current lifestyle.
  • Discuss with the doctor if you can continue taking any medications while you are trying to conceive. If the doctor restricts you from taking any particular medicines or herbal supplements, do follow his advice properly.
  • Get the immunizations as suggested by your doctor. The doctor performs a close health scrutiny and recommends taking vaccination for harmful diseases such as rubella and chickenpox.

2. Deal With Existing Health Problems:

  • If you had any complex health problem, you need to treat those conditions before pregnancy.
  • If you are overweight, try to lose your extra pounds by eating nutritious foods and practicing regular exercises.
  • Get effective medication for any chronic health ailments such as high blood pressure or thyroid diseases.
  • Sexually transmitted infections decrease your chances of conception. So inform your doctor about your health discomforts and get effective treatment for the sexually transmitted infections and diseases immediately.
  • If you are already taking any medication for a chronic condition, including hypothyroidism, your doctor suggests you to go through a blood test before trying o conceive. If the test indicates that the level is under control, you are safe to conceive. However, you will have to undergo periodic testing, and your doctor changes the dosage of medications over time.
  • The existence of any health complexities decreases your ability to conceive naturally. Hence, it is important to inform the doctor about all your health diseases and complexities in advance. The doctor suggests suitable medications to treat the health disorders.

3. Follow A Healthy Regime:

  • If you are willing to increase your fertility rate, it is important to make lifestyle changes and stay positive about life.
  • Try to give up the habits of smoking or taking alcohols, as they adversely degrade the fertility rate.
  • To reduce excess stress, you can try practicing healthy exercises including yoga, cycling, swimming, jogging and even walking in your daily regime.
  • Get plenty of sleep, to keep you rejuvenated. Sufficient rest eliminates harmful toxins from your body and helps you to live a stress-free life.
  • Make requisite changes in your dietary plan and include nutritious foods in your diet. You can include fresh vegetables, whole grains, and folate-rich foods like dark leafy veggies, legumes and citrus fruits in your diet. To increase protein intake add eggs, dairy products, fish and lean meats (3).

[ Read: Foods to Improve Chances Of Getting Pregnant ]

4. Consider Fertility Treatments:

  • It becomes difficult to conceive naturally after 40, so you may need fertility treatments to increase your success rate. Talk to your doctor about some effective fertility-enhancing drugs or treatment options.
  • Your doctor may suggest an intake of oral medications such as clomiphene or clomiphene citrate. These medications increase the rate of ovulation and success rate for conception. However, research concludes that fertility-enhancing medications elevate the chance of multiple pregnancies.
  • The doctor may recommend you to take hormonal injections of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) to boost your fertility rate. The rate of multiple births is usually higher with such treatments.
  • If your reproductive system is damaged, and it interferes with the process of conceiving the doctor may suggest a surgical procedure. The surgery helps to rectify the issue and boosts your chance of conception (4).

5. Maintain A Healthy Body Weight:

  • Obesity is one of the leading factors to impose infertility and a higher BMI. The significant alterations in the normal ovulation rate usually occur due to higher BMI.
  • Avoid vigorous dieting or starvation, as high nutritional deficiencies greatly hampers the secretion of endocrine hormones. Practice healthy exercises to lose your extra pounds.
  • Avoid intake of hormonal supplements for weight loss. Such supplements harshly affect the secretion of the follicle-stimulating hormone, which lowers the fertility rate.
  • Perform regular fertility enhancing yoga postures that promote effective blood flow into your female reproductive organs.

[ Read: Yoga For Fertility ]

6. Consider Donor Eggs:

  • At this age, your ability to conceive naturally is quite low. That’s why it is a great idea to consider donor eggs if you want to conceive.
  • Your chances of getting pregnant with viable donor eggs are pretty high.
  • You can also opt for surrogacy and choose a healthy woman to carry your baby for you. These options are becoming popular these days, and it never hurts if your partner supports your decision (5).

Home Remedies To Increase Your Success Rate Of Getting Pregnant In The 40s

Here are some home remedies that may help to elevate your chances of getting pregnant in your 40s:

  • It is very important to keep a close track of you menstrual cycle and remain acknowledged about your fertile days. The fertile period lies on the 14th day of your menstrual cycle and for the next ten days.
  • Monitor and record your basal body temperature and practice frequent intercourse at or around the time of ovulation. A slight increase of your body temperature indicates that you are successfully ovulating, and it is the best time for sexual intercourse.
  • Use an ovulation predictor kit that indicates the successful ovulation days and increases your chances of conception.
  • Monitor the substantial changes in your cervical secretion. It enables you to understand whether the embryo successfully implants in the uterus or not.
  • Avoid performing strenuous physical activities especially running, riding stairs and lifting heavy weights during the course.
  • Performing sexual intercourse in different positions elevates your chances of pregnancy at 40.The doggy position is mostly preferred for baby making as the sperms deeply penetrate.
  • Expert suggests that soft massaging of the uterus helps in promoting blood supply and enhances healthy development of uterine tissue.
  • Fertility cleansing helps your body to get rid of toxic wastes that your body releases during the normal metabolic process. Elimination of toxic wastes increases your chances of conception.

[ Read: Ayurvedic Treatments To Cure Infertility ]

Herbal Remedies To Boost Fertility In The 40s

Healthy nourishing fertility supplements such as extract of fresh garlic, vitamin C, and grapefruit juice helps in boosting the fertility rate in your 40s. The herbal remedies impose lesser side effects in your body as compared to pharmacological agents. Most of the herbal products promotes effective blood supply to your reproductive organs, stabilize the secretion of vital fertility hormones and maintains the normal pH balance of the female genital tract.

Here are few effective herbal remedies that help you to conceive naturally in the 40s:

  • Saw Palmetto: The useful over the counter herb is usually available in the form of capsules. It promotes healthy fertility by treating menstrual irregularities (6).
  • False Unicorn: Is is an ancient Native American herb that effectively treats the female as well as treat infertility issues. The herb is beneficial for women with a history of recurrent miscarriages (7).
  • Red Clover: The herbal supplement helps to enhance the female fertility rate naturally. The herb helps to treat hormonal irregularities, detoxifies your blood and delivers vital vitamins to your body (8).
  • Maca: The herb signifies its action by improving the sex drive and effective management of female complexities like the polycystic ovarian disease (9).
  • Vitex: It is one of the popular herbal remedies that helps to treat menstrual irregularities, manage ovarian cysts and regulates ovulatory cycles (10).

[ Read: Infertility Treatment – GIFT ]

Important Things To Remember

  • Drink plenty of water as it helps to keep your tissues hydrated and healthy. Water easily keeps your appetite full, decrease your food cravings and prevent you from gaining excess weight. The hormone secretion increases and your chances to conceive boosts naturally.
  • Increase your intake of anti-oxidants in your diet. The effective elements neutralize or kill free radicals and protect your eggs from any damages or chromosomal complexities.
  • Stress, anxiety and worry degrade the production of healthy female reproductive hormones and restrict proper blood supply to your reproductive organs. Try to lead a stress-free life, practice yoga or meditation to improve your chances of getting pregnant at 40 naturally.

[ Read: Benefits & Risks of Fertility Drugs For Women ]

Did you conceive naturally in your 40s? What lifestyle and dietary changes did you make in your daily life? Were those changes effective enough? Share your complete story about trying to get pregnant at 40 and help others think about their chances too!

Comment in the box below!

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shreeja pillai

Shreeja holds a postgraduate degree in Chemistry and diploma in Drug Regulatory Affairs. Before joining MomJunction, she worked as a research analyst with a leading multinational pharmaceutical company. Her interest in the field of medical research has developed her passion for writing research-based articles. As a writer, she aims at providing informative articles on health and pharma, especially related to... more