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Real chances of conceiving over 40

(23 Posts)
Theironfistofarkus Thu 27-Jun-13 22:50:31

Does anyone have any idea what they are? Obviously will depend on the person but would be interested to know average. I have seen some stats which seem to be low but relate to people who have had to seek treatment and so presumably have already sadly had difficulties. Are there any more general stats? I know a fair few people who have had babies at 41 or 42 so wondered whether they are unusual.

argylesocks Thu 27-Jun-13 23:16:22

Hi, you might be interested in this article:

Boggler Thu 27-Jun-13 23:24:34

Well I got pregnant without trying at 44, it was a shock but it definitely happens.

Devora Thu 27-Jun-13 23:27:22

I don't have the stats, but bear in mind the other factors that can affect fertility at this age. I read a study once that, if I remember it right, said that most 40 year olds will get pregnant within two years if they have enough sex, but that many panic (understandably) and opt for IVF which means they stop trying naturally and may therefore be less likely to conceive. It suggested that before just opting for IVF women should get good advice on how to maximise their chances of natural fertility (most importantly: more sex! Most 40 somethings have much less frequent sex than 20somethings.)

You say 'over 40' but bear in mind that the odds are decreasing very rapidly in these years. A 40 year old woman has a pretty reasonable chance of getting pregnant. By 43, you are travelling anxiously. By 45, I think you should be considering medical intervention sooner rather than later.

If this is for you, best of luck. I gave birth to my first child at 41 smile

deleted203 Thu 27-Jun-13 23:27:48

You will get plenty of people on here telling you they have easily conceived in their 40s with no problems. But it is, if not unusual, certainly not always the case. Statistically speaking, the chances of conceiving aged over 40 are about 5% at best.

Following that, a woman in her early 40s has a 50% chance of miscarriage.

I had my last child at 38 - and would have loved another one. Between 39 and 41 I fell pregnant 4 times, and miscarried each one before 12 weeks. Sadly, my eggs were clearly no longer viable. I am lucky to have a family, which many women do not. But I know from experience that it was a very different kettle of fish wanting another baby as I approached 40 than it was in my 20s and mid 30s.

Theironfistofarkus Thu 27-Jun-13 23:28:35

Thanks argyle! Very interesting. I had always thought the 5% stat to be wrong as I know at least 4 people who have had babies over 40.

dancinglife Thu 27-Jun-13 23:31:33

It does get harder over 40 apparently and you can lose them more easily - miscarriages are much more common over 40 which is terribly upsetting every time.

I do know of someone who managed it (after losing two) but then had healthy baby - and another who had a boy at 41 but they weren't first babies.

The saddest thing is when couples give up trying because the miscarriages are so devastating.

Twins are more common over 40 too, though, so that can be a nice bonus.

Theironfistofarkus Thu 27-Jun-13 23:32:57

Thanks to all others too. Partly curiosity but partly hoping that there is still a chance in early 40s. Fortunately for me I already have a gorgeous family so am maybe just being greedy!

Theironfistofarkus Thu 27-Jun-13 23:34:10

Would love twins dancing. Dh not so much...

Devora Thu 27-Jun-13 23:34:56

5%, sowornout? But is it meaningful to have one stat for over 40? Makes more sense to me to look at the odds at each year over 40, because obviously the near-impossibility of natural conception in your late 40s almost cancels out the very real possibility of conceiving at 40.

I'm very sorry about your miscarriages. It's always hard to know what tone to strike on these threads. Of course it is possible to conceive in your 40s and there are plenty of posters who have. On the other hand, there are plenty of others who have experienced infertility and miscarriage.

I tend to tailor the message to the OP. If it's somebody who is 35 and wondering how long they can afford to put off childbearing, I would always advise that they don't wait till their late 30s or early 40s. It took me years to get pregnant and then keep a pregnancy, and it was monumentally stressful knowing that time was not on my side. But if the OP is 40 and wanting to know if she should bother trying, then of course it's useful to know that other women have been there and done it.

Theironfistofarkus Thu 27-Jun-13 23:35:56

Sorry to hear about the miscarriages sowornout. Must have been very tough.

iclaudius Thu 27-Jun-13 23:36:20

Agree re miscarriages ... I got pg at 40 and had a baby but then miscarried 5 times over the next two years

I then got pg at 43 and gave birth at 44 and then got pg again by accident 6 months later at 45!

dancinglife Thu 27-Jun-13 23:39:56

Its odd how wanting a baby - even if you've already had lots - can be so intense and almost take over your life.
Could it mean there's one up there waiting for you? Wanting a baby can be so illogical

deleted203 Thu 27-Jun-13 23:40:24

Absolutely, Devora. I would completely agree with you. Thank you for the sympathy and the nice tone of your post. I appreciate how lucky I am to have a family anyway, and although we would have liked more are happy with the children we have.

You are quite correct to say that it would be sad if women thought, 'oh it's too late to try,' and didn't bother. They might well be able to have a child still. OP I wish you all the best!

deleted203 Thu 27-Jun-13 23:48:14

Lovely story iclaudius. smile Really pleased you managed to extend your family, particularly after 5 miscarriages. Hopefully others can take heart from this!

Thank you ironfist. It was a terrible shock with the first one - because having fallen pregnant it never occurred to me that there would be any problems, as I'd sailed through previous pregnancies. After that I think we weren't counting our chickens and were sadly resigned as successive miscarriages followed. We are much luckier than a lot of people, though, as we already have DCs. I think that helped us accept that it just wasn't meant to be.

Irishmammybread Thu 27-Jun-13 23:59:24

If you look on the 40+ conception thread there are lots of success stories of pregnancies but lots of miscarriages also.
I got pregnant unexpectedly last year at 44(thought we were past it!!) but unfortunately miscarried at 11 weeks.
We then decided to actively ttc.
I had an AMH blood test done which was low but well above average for someone my age,so I knew egg reserve was reasonable.
I had progesterone bloods taken 7 and 10 days after ovulation which showed good corporeal luteal function.
I'm ovulating regularly.
However I've since had another 3 miscarriages and DH feels it's time to stop trying, I'm 45 now,he's 44, and it's heartbreaking constantly losing babies.
I've been told if I conceive my chances of miscarrying are at least 50% each time, I think even though the eggs are there they are just too old.There seems to be a big difference between ttc in early 40s compared to mid 40s.
I know I'm very lucky to have 3 DC already but still feel a sense of incompleteness since miscarrying,I know another baby wouldn't replace what we've lost but it does feel like there's a missing space in the family for another little one.
However it's something I'm trying to come to terms with.
Then I hear your story iclaudius and it makes me think maybe there still would be a's a dilemma!

busyboysmum Fri 28-Jun-13 00:08:42

I had ds3 at 42, we tried for a year and I thought we kept getting pregnant but my cycles were so frequent (every 24 days) the eggs were getting swept away before they could implant. I read up and it said to take vitamin B12 and something else - can't remember now (old age) but I stocked up and the first month of taking them got pregnant with ds3 now 18 months old and gorgeous.

iclaudius Fri 28-Jun-13 12:01:51

Just FYI I took b6 b12 aspirin as well as folic acid etc...

For baby --- aged 44- I saw a consultant who was pretty pessimistic despite an AMH of over 10

Against his better judgement he prescribed me clomid and immediately I was pg with my baby boy x

Theironfistofarkus Fri 28-Jun-13 17:13:07

Thanks All and congrats iclaudius and busyboy. So lovely to have happy endings

nomorekisses Fri 28-Jun-13 22:40:25

This is an interesting thread for me. I am 43.5. I had my DD as I turned 41, after being told that I had very elevated FSH and very low AMH. He is beautiful, coming up to 2.5.

I thought I only wanted one child, and I suspect that's what I'll end up with, but we have tentatively started trying - this month.

What are my odds with an FSH now of 27, and an AMH of 0.09...and irregular cycles? The last one being 21 days.

Am I being ridiculous to think it's possible?

I'm not the faint hearted sort, so honesty is fine smile

scaevola Fri 28-Jun-13 23:21:13

I'd read that the per cycle chances of becoming pg were 25% under 30, 15% 30-35, 10% 35-40, 5% 40-45, and 1% over 45.

So yes, a sharp decline after 40, but still a reasonable chance of becoming pg when you're under 45. Unfortunately, the mc rate also rises from about 5% under 30 to about 50% in your 40s.

scaevola Fri 28-Jun-13 23:30:09

But on a more positive note, NHS menopause guidelines say that you still need contraception under 50 until you have had 2 years period-free. So the chance of conception really is there.

Floradell Sun 08-May-16 05:48:31

Old thread I know...just wondering if you did anything different to conceive at 45: vitamins, diet, acupuncture, etc?

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