Getting pregnant after 40 – what you should know

Chances of getting pregnant after turning 40 decrease significantly but there are ways to increase your chances of conception. 

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What you need to know:

Problems you may encounter

Diminished ovarian reserve

Expensive fertility treatments

Increased risk of having a miscarriage

After 40, the chances of conceiving decrease significantly.  

However, with tailored advice and tips, conceiving after 40 is not impossible.

What to expect

Being pregnant at an older age can take a toll on your body in different ways.  Body aches and pains are common side-effects of being pregnant.

A successful pregnancy at this age comes with increased risks of certain medical conditions. Consult your doctor to see if you’re susceptible to any medical challenges.

Psychologically, prepare for change. For example, when many women are pregnant at an older age, they feel exhausted. Mental stability is important so always take care of your mental health.  

Problems you may encounter

  1. Diminished ovarian reserve: This is a condition in which the ovary loses its normal reproductive potential, leading to decreased chances of getting pregnant because of reduced fertility.
  2. Treatment challenges: Infertility treatments are more expensive and less effective as a woman gets older. This can lead to emotional stress, which can contribute to pregnancy complications.
  3. Increased risk of miscarriage: The risk of miscarriage is relatively higher with age. This is because when a low-quality egg is produced and fertilized, it is difficult for the embryo to develop well, causing miscarriage.

Increasing your chances of conception

Older women can get pregnant naturally. It may just take a little more time. However, some practices can help improve fertility and the chances of a successful pregnancy.

  • Prenatal exercises will increase your chances of carrying a baby to term. Exercising also eases the pain of childbirth.
  • Consume a healthy diet with plenty of protein. Additionally, take prenatal vitamins to prepare for pregnancy.
  • Use Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). The most common procedure of ART is IVF. Using In vitro fertilization (IVF), eggs are removed from the ovaries and mixed with sperm outside the body. Seek professional advice before undergoing this procedure.
  • Practice a healthy lifestyle, including eating well, exercising, and limiting alcohol intake. Alcohol is a common cause of infertility.
  • Keep stress levels down. Cortisol, a stress hormone, can disrupt the coordination of the brain and the ovaries, which affects ovulation.
  • Use natural supplements. Consult an expert for advice on what supplements will work for your specific context.

Benefits of getting pregnant after 40

1. Financial stability

Generally, the older you are, the more stable your finances become. Being pregnant at an older age gives you time to save money on childcare, a mortgage, or other necessary expenses.

2. Emotional stability

Pregnancy can cause unexpected emotional changes and mood swings. However, older women can control their emotions better than younger women.

3. Disciplined children

Children raised by older parents tend to do well academically and have good discipline. Studies have also shown that children raised by older parents are more likely to be successful.