You Can Get Pregnant at 45: Here’s How

You Can Get Pregnant at 45: Here's How

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Age and Women’s Fertility

As far as fertility goes in women, age is probably the number one factor when it comes to how fertile a woman is and how likely it is for her to get pregnant. This is because a woman’s age and reproductive system in general are tied in together and are closely intertwined. Let’s find out more. When a woman is born, she is born with a set number of eggs. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

     That’s right, the eggs that she will have to last her entire life are already set and ready when she is born. Imagine that!

This number will never, ever increase, and in fact, will only decrease as a woman gets older. Every month, once a woman starts getting her menstrual cycle, a single egg will be released every month from her ovaries, and the numbers will continue to go down and down as time goes on. As a woman gets older, the number of eggs in her egg reserves continues to decrease, making it harder to get pregnant with each passing month.

It’s also important to note that the body is very smart. It actually uses up the best and most viable eggs first, leaving behind eggs with defects or chromosomal problems to be used last. While this might just sound like a cool twist of science, it actually means that women are more likely to have a baby with a birth defect or medical problem depending on the later in life that they get pregnant.

woman's fertility as she age

     Is this just a cool twist of science?

This is why you will notice that women in their twenties have less instances of giving birth to a baby with a birth defect or chromosomal abnormality, and women who have children later in life, after age 40, are more likely to have a baby with a health problem.  It’s also the reason after 40, miscarriages are more common, as it’s the body’s natural way to terminate a potentially chromosomal unsound pregnancy. This is the body’s way of using up the best eggs first and saving eggs with potential problems to be used later on.

Getting Pregnant In Your Forties

Most women already know that the prime time, biologically speaking, to get pregnant is when a woman is in her twenties. This is when women are at their youngest, usually their healthiest and strongest, and when all of their eggs are fresh and viable. This is also when most women aren’t thinking a whit about their fertility or starting families.

     Friends, college, travel, career usually are in a woman’s focus during these early years.

A woman’s early thirties are also a relatively easy and safe time to become pregnant. Things in a woman’s body during her early thirties are usually much like they are in her twenties, and everything is still working “as it should”.

However, once a woman reaches her mid thirties, around age 35, things with fertility start to change. A woman sees a small, but still significant, drop in fertility around age 35. After age 35, a woman’s fertility continues to decrease, slowly, and still at a minimal rate.

     However, it is once a woman hits 40 years of age that we really start to see a dramatic drop in her fertility.

woman's age and its affect to fertility

By the time a woman reaches the age of 40, her best and most viable eggs have almost always been used up already, leaving behind eggs that might not be as healthy, and might have defects or chromosomal abnormalities. It’s also really more difficult for a woman to get pregnant after age 40 because, not only are there not very many viable eggs left, the overall number of eggs has usually decreased to a very small amount by this time.

     This isn’t to say, however, that it is impossible for a woman to get pregnant over 40.

In fact, getting pregnant over 40 happens all the time. However, it is more unlikely, and it is more likely that if a woman does get pregnant after 40, that there could be potential problems to contend with.

Pregnancy after 45

Although it might sound harsh, it is the reality that once a woman reaches the age of 45, her time of having children is winding down. After age 45, women are very unlikely to become pregnant and the chances of having children after this age are very low.

     In fact, some doctors say that it is “virtually impossible” for a woman to get pregnant using her own eggs after the age of 45.

That’s not to say that in rare, random occasions, it doesn’t happen, only that it is unlikely. However, there are definitely still some important things to know about getting pregnant later on in life, after age 45.

Risks of Getting Pregnant After 45

It might sound negative, but honestly speaking, there are many different risks associated with getting pregnant after the age of 45. First of all, we have already talked about how the remaining eggs are likely to have chromosomal abnormalities or other problems. What this translates to is that if a woman does happen to get pregnant after the age of 45, she will have an increased risk of having a baby with a birth defect. Or much more chance of having a miscarriage.

Down Syndrome is one birth defect that is definitely much more pronounced in babies born to women who give birth over the age of 40. For example, the chances of having a baby with Down Syndrome are around 1 in 100 for a woman who gives birth at age 40. However, once a woman hits age 45, that chance grows to around 1 in 30. There is an increased chance of having a whole slew of birth defects and other genetic problems for women who give birth after age 45, and these women will definitely be considered “high risk pregnancy”. This means extra doctor’s visits, additional testing and being more closely monitored during pregnancy.

Risks for Mom

It’s important that we also touch on the increased risks for moms who get pregnant after the age of 40, or approaching 45. There is more than just risks to the unborn baby to worry about. Moms who get pregnant after the age of 40 also have risks to worry about when it comes to themselves as well.

Moms who get pregnant later in life have lots to contend with, including increased risk of things like gestational hypertension as well as gestational diabetes. Increased risk of having to have a C-section is definitely an issue, as well as an increased risk of miscarriage. To sum it up, getting pregnant later on in life is really just something that increases risks all the way around, and women who do get pregnant after the age of 40 really need to be aware of their chances for things like this.

Is It Even Possible?

If you are reading this article, and thinking about getting pregnant after age 45, it’s probably beginning to sound like it’s actually impossible. There are so many things that can happen and so many things that can go wrong, it might sound like there is no point in even trying.

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     It can be a little disheartening to read all of the “negatives” associated with getting pregnant after age 45, to say the least.

Especially when you look at the online websites, social media posts and gossip magazines that constantly tout all of the “pregnancy celeb moms over 45” and “giving birth at 50” articles. Celebrities seem to know no bounds when it comes to getting pregnant, no matter their age, and it can seem a little bit overwhelming sometimes.

     Glimmer of hope: It’s important to know that if you are trying to get pregnant after age 45, that while it is not always extremely likely, it is, in fact possible.

One important thing to remember is that there are risks and difficulties to be aware of. Being informed is probably the first and most important step in regards to getting pregnant. When you are trying to get pregnant at an older advanced age, it is important to know what you are getting into and not go in blind. Read everything you can find on the subject, educate yourself and do your best to know what you are going to need to expect when trying to conceive after age 45.

Prepare Yourself

First of all, you probably already know if you are over age 45 and trying to conceive, that you are going to need some professional help. However, you should start off on your trying to conceive journey making sure that you are at your healthiest. This means stopping any negative or unhealthy habits that could potentially affect your fertility.

Things like drinking, drug use, smoking, eating fast foods or unhealthy sugary snacks, or having a lot of stress in your day to day routine are things that you should pay attention to and try to get a hold of before trying to conceive. You want to cut out anything that could be a detriment to fertility before you even get started trying to have a baby.

alcohol and smoking and their negative effects to fertility

Fertility Supplements

There are so many things that you can do to improve your chances of conceiving before you start to try. It can really go a long way towards boosting your chances of getting pregnant.

     One of the easiest and most basic things that you can do to help boost your chances is to start taking a daily prenatal vitamin.

Prenatal vitamins can help to balance out hormones and make sure that women are getting the proper levels of vitamins and minerals in order to maximize their fertility. It is also a great idea for women to start taking a daily folic acid supplement before trying to conceive. Folic acid is vital to fertility, and taking folic acid supplements before getting pregnant can actually reduce the chances of having a baby with neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Definitely take these supplements to boost chances of getting pregnant after age 45.

If over the age of 45, you may want to immediately begin taking a fertility supplement like ConceiveEasy or another blend or fertility herbs to help boost your chances from the get-go. You do not have the time to wait, so there’s no time like the present to kickstart your fertility now.

Seeking Professional Help

If you are trying to get pregnant after the age of 45, you already know that time is of the essence. Time is definitely not on your side, so it will be very important to seek out the help of a doctor and/or fertility expert as soon as possible. It’s recommended to go ahead and seek a fertility doctor’s advice as soon as possible. At this point in the game, most women will probably need fertility testing and possibly even fertility treatments of some sort. This is why it is super important to see a doctor as soon as you try to start conceiving so that you can improve your chances as much as possible. A doctor may prescribe you Clomid as just a rule of thumb right from the start. This might help!

What Options Are There?

For women who are over age 45, the truth of the matter is that it is very likely that fertility treatments of some sort will be needed if a woman truly does wish to get pregnant. Doctors will usually want to perform fertility tests right away, to see how many eggs a woman has remaining, the health of the eggs, and the overall health of the ovaries and the fallopian tubes.

normal and defective sperms compared

Other tests might need to be performed on the male partner as well, such as tests to determine sperm count, sperm morphology, and sperm motility. Depending on the results of these tests, doctors might recommend a treatment plan or a medical treatment.

If Age Is the Problem

Sometimes, doctors will determine that there is not an actual medical problem that will cause fertility issues, and instead find that a woman’s age is actually the issue that is keeping her from conceiving. In this case, doctors will have to decide what a woman’s best course of treatment is

In some cases, IVF will be recommended, and can have quite a good success rate in some cases. Of course, IVF will greatly increase your chances of having twins, so if you ever wondered why so many ‘older’ women are having twins, it could be this. If a woman’s case is determined to be more severe, for example, if it is found that she has no eggs at all remaining, other options might be needed, such as donor eggs. Donor eggs are a great option in many cases where women do not have any eggs of their own remaining. If donor eggs are not a viable option for a couple, doctors might want to discuss alternative methods, such as surrogacy, or even adoption.

There are so many different ways to becoming a parent, and sometimes the path that it takes to get there isn’t the path that couples expected to take. However, with patience, dedication, and perseverance, couples can find the answer that will work for their particular situation, and will find their own path to becoming parents, even if it doesn’t follow the path that they had planned.

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Dr. Prabha Sahgal, MD
Dr. Prabha Sahgal, MD | ConceiveEasy
Dr. Prabha Sahgal MD, is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and subspecialty board certified in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Dr. Sahgal holds a B.S. degree from MIT in molecular biology and currently serves on the ConceiveEasy board of directors.