Pregnancy over age 40 is possible for many women
As more women are waiting to become mothers, it’s becoming more common for hopeful parents to come to our Dallas fertility clinic with questions about conception and pregnancy over age 40. Female fertility does decline with age, but fertility treatments can often make pregnancy possible for a woman who wants to become a mother in her 40s.
The truth about pregnancy over age 40
Although more female celebrities seem to be conceiving easily after the age of 40, most of them are likely doing so with help from fertility treatments that range from oral and injectable medications to in vitro fertilization (IVF) with donor eggs.
A woman is born with all of the eggs she will ever have. Before entering puberty, she will have about 500,000 eggs in her ovaries. She will release about 300 eggs in her lifetime, while the rest will be lost through the natural aging process. For this reason, a woman’s peak reproductive years are in her 20s and early-30s.
By the time a woman reaches her 40s, she has fewer eggs remaining. In fact, she has less than a 5% chance of conceiving naturally in any given month. Additionally, egg quality declines with age, so a woman in her 40s is more likely to have genetic defects arising from her eggs that can contribute to difficulty conceiving, miscarriage and birth defects. All of this means that it’s much easier for a woman in her 20s to conceive than a woman in her 40s.
However, the team at our Dallas fertility clinic wants to stress that pregnancy over age 40 is far from impossible for most women, thanks to the wonders of advanced reproductive technology.
Fertility treatments to achieve pregnancy over age 40
Our fertility specialists want women to understand that pregnancy is still possible and can be safe for women in their 40s. A woman’s egg quality and supply may decrease with age, but her uterus and body can still safely carry a pregnancy. However, the process of achieving pregnancy over age 40 often requires help from fertility treatments.
Because time is of the essence when it comes to fertility, we recommend making an appointment at our Dallas fertility clinic if you are over 35 and have been unable to conceive after six months of having regular, unprotected intercourse because beyond six months, the chance of conceiving without assistance is less than 5%, even when all testing is normal.
At your first fertility appointment, your fertility specialist will perform diagnostic testing to assess your egg supply and hormone levels, as well as look for any structural abnormalities that he or she may need to correct. Using this information, your doctor can help you develop a customized treatment plan to maximize your chances of bringing home a healthy baby.
Some of the most common fertility treatment options to achieve pregnancy over age 40 include fertility medications and IVF, as well as IVF with donor eggs. Pregnancy rates when using donor eggs are very high because the eggs come from healthy young women in their 20s. This advanced fertility treatment allows women to experience pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood.
No matter what fertility treatment plan is right for you, the team at our Dallas fertility clinic will be here to guide and support you every step of the way on your journey to achieve pregnancy after age 40. Contact us to learn more or schedule an appointment.