How Old is Too Old? Pregnancy in your 40s

Because of changing ideals in our society and numerous other factors, many women have made the decision to delay have children until later in life. In the past, women started families in their early 20s. Now, it’s more common to see women waiting well into their 30s and even 40s to start having kids. Some women make the decision to not have kids until later, while others don’t have choice, with fertility issues pushing back their baby timetables. In April, actress Halle Berry announced that she was pregnant at 46. Along with discussing Berry’s pregnancy, this article also delved into the logistics of a pregnancy in your 40s.

pregnant_2176694bLet’s take a look at some of the factors for a pregnant woman in her 40s:

Can I even get pregnant at 40?

Yes! Although, for most women, it is difficult. As this ToConceive webpage states, as woman ages, her eggs age as well. At age 20, an average women has 80 percent of chromosomally-normal ova. At age 45, that percentage drops significantly, to just over 2 percent of chromosomally-normal ova. Studies have found that the chance of a woman conceiving on her own (without the help of infertility treatments) is around 0.01 percent.

What can I do to increase my chances of conceiving in my 40s?

Many doctors encourage women in their 40s who want to get pregnant to get help right away. Other options include using donor eggs from a younger donor. Just like younger women, women in their 40s should take prenatal vitamins, get daily moderate exercise and maintain a healthy diet.

What are some risks of pregnancy in my 40s?

Women in their 40s have a higher chance of miscarriage, as well as higher instances of genetic defects such as down syndrome. To help alleviate these risks, pregnant women in their 40s receive high-risk prenatal care and many undergo genetic testing.


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