Getting Pregnant at 40 – Chances, Risks, and Benefits
It’s the 21st century and more and more women are getting pregnant at 40 or older. Many couples choose to focus on their careers and building financial security before starting a family. This trend comes with both risks and benefits.
The Chances of Getting Pregnant at 40
Lots of our readers have asked if it’s too late to try for a baby once they reach 40 years old. The answer is no! If you are healthy, fit, and still ovulating, it is still perfectly possible to get pregnant. However, the likelihood of getting pregnant at 40 does decrease because the number of eggs you release during ovulation has decreased. National statistics suggest that the chances of getting pregnant at 40 naturally are about 20%. So it may take you a few months of trying to conceive. Pay careful attention to your ovulation calendar to ensure your attempts are at the optimum time and increase your chances of getting pregnant at 40 naturally. Consult your doctor regularly and, if conceiving proves difficult, you can consider other options such as IVF Treatment.
The Risks of Getting Pregnant at 40
If you plan to have a child after 40, there are a few things you need to know. As women get older, the risks of pregnancy complications and birth defects do increase. Some of the getting pregnant at 40 risks include:
- The structure of your eggs may be less sound than they were when you were younger. This can increase the risk of miscarriage and also lead to chromosomal abnormalities (such as Downs Syndrome or other birth defects) in the fetus.
- You’re twice as likely to develop high-risk pregnancy symptoms such as high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia, and gestational diabetes.
- Labor and delivery are often more difficult for older women and your chances of needing a caesarean section increase.
We recommend consulting a doctor and possibly a gynecologist before trying to conceive and having regular checkups throughout your pregnancy.
The Benefits of Getting Pregnant at 40
The news isn’t all bad! There are lots of excellent benefits of being an older mother! Just to name a few:
- You are probably older and wiser than you might have been in your 20s – you’ll make more responsible parenting choices.
- You’re more likely to be in a stable, lasting relationship – two parents are always better than one!
- You are more likely to be financially secure and able to meet the costs of being a parent.
- You’ve already lived lots of life and are more focussed on your baby’s needs than your own.
Tips and Advice for Older Pregnancies
- Have a thorough health check before trying to conceive. You need to know that your body is fit, healthy and ready for the strain of pregnancy.
- Prepare for your pregnancy at least 90 days before you start trying – stop drinking alcohol, get daily exercise, and eat nutritiously. Encourage your partner to do the same – his sperm has a role to play and needs to be as healthy as possible! Find out more about preparing for pregnancy here.
- Engage expert prenatal care early in your pregnancy. We recommend seeing an obstetrician at least once and having regular check-ins with an experienced midwife.
- Stay relaxed – stress is your enemy. You are a strong woman and will make an excellent mother!
Waiting for those first signs of pregnancy can be nerve-racking. But, knowing what you’re waiting for can really help! Find out about the earliest signs and symptoms of pregnancy here.
If you’re an older woman experiencing your first pregnancy, quality prenatal care is particularly important. You can minimize some of the above risks through regular check-ups with experts. Read about the types of prenatal care here.
Your body is working really hard to grow a happy, healthy baby and you can help the process with the right diet and exercise. Find out more about how to