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1st post - any advice for trying to concieve when over 40

(14 Posts)
notamumyet79 Tue 13-Mar-18 03:51:19

Hello, I'm brand new on here so I don't know all the lingo yet!

I'm in my late 30s and pregnancy just hasn't happened for me yet. I was never that bothered before, but recently hubby and me have been talking about maybe trying for a baby soon. He's in the army so he wants to work abroad and do his promotion course first so that he can stay at home more, and I'm just studying my social work masters degree so I want to finish that first. This means I'll be in my early 40s when trying for a first baby.

Does anyone have any stories they can share / advice to give about what to bear in mind and be prepared for when trying to get pregnant as an older first time mum?

Thank you so much for any sharing you do for me!!

RD15 Tue 13-Mar-18 05:14:31

If I were you, I wouldn’t wait. I know you’re doing your university course, but that could be deferred if you fell pregnant. Fertility begins to decline after 35 and conceiving in your 40s isn’t a given and can be more challenging. I think you need to consider how you would feel if you put it on hold, and then it didn’t happen. If you could accept that it just wasn’t meant to be, and be at peace with it, then that might influence your decision.

Of course, many women do successfully conceive in their 40s - I don’t want to be all doom and gloom about it. However, if you really want a family, I think you should go for it sooner rather than later.

Best wishes xx

notamumyet79 Tue 13-Mar-18 06:12:57

Thanks @RD15. I knew the stuff about over-35 and fertility decline, that's kind of why I'd given up over the past few years after hitting that milestone... wink

Unfortunately, right away doesn't really work for us. My husband will be away on courses for a lot of the year and I will be overseas for the second half of the year to finish my second placement in Nepal. Then the following year (unless the current posting plan changes) he will also be posted overseas, and we won't see each other often. That gives a really slim chance of conceiving anyway, but I'm also keen to wait until we're in the same country because I'm very high-risk for postnatal depression so I really want his support. I know you can get support from others, but we move around so much that we're nowhere near family - not even in the same continent! - and I don't have a strong, stable friends network. If I manage to get a proper job beforehand too it would really help for maternity pay - I'm on a zero hours contract atm so we would be in real financial difficulty if we had a baby now. Then I would never get back into work either if I couldn't afford to get my qualification. The joys of emigrating and not having your previous quals and experience recognised wink

MsJuniper Tue 13-Mar-18 06:47:08

I also wouldn't delay longer than you absolutely have to but I understand your reasoning.

I'd recommend focusing on maximising your chances by getting your body as healthy as it can be. I followed some of the diet and supplementation advice in It Starts With The Egg.

You could also have a couples fertility MOT to see if there is a likelihood of any issues.

I am 41 and 37 wks pregnant with DC2 but it has taken 3.5 years and 6 mc to get to this point and taken a big toll on my mental health and family relationships.

eurochick Tue 13-Mar-18 06:59:40

You might be fine but it's pretty risky. You are making a choice to prioritise your courses and that choice leaves you at a reasonable level of risk of never having a child. Are you going to be ok with having made that choice in future?

QueenAravisOfArchenland Tue 13-Mar-18 08:07:59

Honestly if it matters to you to have a child, ie you will be devastated if all this doesn't work out, I think you should pull the goalie now anyway and let the chips fall where they may. Other things can be worked around but once your window for fertility closes it's never opening again - and by 40 it may well have closed.

The other advice, which no one wants to hear, is that over 40 I would prepare yourself for miscarriages as a part of the journey if you do conceive. You will quite likely have to conceive more than once to have a live birth.

Cleozeta Tue 13-Mar-18 10:53:47

Fertility declines from 35 but pretty much falls off a cliff at 40 for many. Chances are much much lower (although not impossible). If you leave it that long you are accepting it may not happen for you, or there may be problems. It depends on your priorities. Personal advice, if you want this, don't wait as you will regret it.

PetraRabbit Tue 13-Mar-18 11:14:28

I'm 42 and had my first baby last year after 4 months of TTC and just conceived my second first attempt, 4 months away from my 43rd birthday. No miscarriages, easy pregnancy last time. Circumstances weren't right for me earlier either.
That's the good news. It is perfectly possible and can be easy.

But the bad news is that it's not possible for everyone. Like previous posters, I am asking you to be sure you wouldn't regret it if you try over 40 and fail. If you can look back and think it just wasn't meant to be and your other life experiences were worth it, then you are making a good choice to wait. If not, then it's a poor choice.

I would take a close look at what you do know about your fertility. If you have average regular periods and your mum had a late or average menopause, that is good. If you have absolutely nothing eventful whatsoever in your gynaecological history, that is good. If you're a healthy weight and don't smoke and rarely drink, that's also good. If not, waiting is a very big gamble in my opinion.

There are supplements you can take. I took a few last time- Q10 is one supposed to improve egg quality- but this time I conceived much more quickly taking nothing at all but Folic Acid/folate (which is essential for anyone of any age preparing to TTC) so I'm not sure I'm convinced.

One thing I would say to you is that I believe some people are blessed with good fertility and some are not. Age is not the biggest factor if you are destined to have problems. The women I know who've struggled most started trying in their early 30s. The problem is that you don't know which type you are until you start trying. Even by guessing with the stuff I mentioned above. At 33 you have a few years to have tests, try IVF etc. No such luxury over 40. That is the biggest problem you would have. Most IVF clinics won't treat women over 42 with their own eggs, for example.

By the way, your life plans sound really exciting. Good luck whatever you decide.

PetraRabbit Tue 13-Mar-18 11:22:11

Also, rereading your OP, you said "pregnancy hasn't happened for me yet". Not sure what you meant by that? That's a red flag if you were having unprotected sex over longer periods of time, even if you weren't officially TTC (trying to conceive). Or did you mean that you just never got round to trying?

SleepFreeZone Tue 13-Mar-18 11:24:32

You don’t want to hear my horrendous later in life TTC journey as you sound far too happy and positive right now. My advice would be to get your eggs harvested now and then go for IVF when you’re ready.

PetraRabbit Tue 13-Mar-18 14:35:29

Just had to add, I'm no expert but don't harvest eggs......the technology is not very well proven. If you want to go via an intervention route, harvest fertilised embryos.

SleepFreeZone Tue 13-Mar-18 15:08:04

Petra that sounds much more sensible. Do that OP. Don’t wait till your eggs are totally knackered and expect a miracle just because you ‘feel and look young’. Your reproductive system knows exactly how old you are.

Erialc80 Tue 13-Mar-18 15:23:09

If there is anyway you can start sooner I would. I had my first child a week before my 35th birthday, falling pregnant in the first month. We have been trying for a second at age 37 for 9 months without any luck yet. Only wait if your happy to take the chance.

notamumyet79 Thu 14-Jun-18 12:54:22

I've had a lot on over the last few months so hadn't come back on here, but thanks so much for the advice! Completing my course is an enormously big deal to me, and is the only way I stand a chance of keeping myself both sane, and out of poverty when I am a bit older. I'm not 100% sure that I want kids, I still only occasionally feel like I want them, but as time is running out then we will try to be in the same place for long enough to try next year. It might ruin my chances of ever having a career if it happens, but then again it might not happen smile We'll also look into the fertility MOT as soon as we get a chance - hubby is away with work for a month at the moment though, and then I'm overseas (it's changed from Nepal to India now) for a few months, after which we'll have to move home - joys of army life!! But somewhere in there hopefully we can get a check up and ask about embryo freezing etc. Hubby has changed his work preferences too so that we can start TTC a bit sooner than I'd been hoping for, but with potentially a bit more chance of success...
Thanks again!

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