Can You Get Pregnant At 45 Years Old

Having A Baby In Your 50s Success Stories

Can you still get pregnant at 46 years old?

Can you get pregnant at 50? Sometimes, the most comforting part of a journey is knowing that someone else has been there before. While getting pregnant in ones 40s or 50s is rare, it is no longer unique. Fertility treatments have vastly improved over the past few years, which allow older women to conceive and have healthy children into their 50s. And although there are distinct health requirements, more and more women are pursuing the route of IVF with donor egg. One of our patients, Tracy Kahn, shared her story with us.

I always looked at the end: Im going to have a child at the end, said Kahn, age 51. Tracy Kahn just underwent donor eggs IVF and is now happily pregnant with her second child. After having her first child Scarlett, age 2, also conceived through donor egg, she felt her family was incomplete. This is where fertility assistance can really be helpful. After several natural attempts, she knew it was time to pursue different options. Using a donor egg increases older womens chances of getting pregnant from 4.9% to 49.0% this is what helped Tracy to get pregnant again. Kahn said she tells her friends that without a donor egg she never would have had Scarlett.

Tracy is just one of the hundreds of thousands of women who have had a child using fertility treatments. By learning from these stories, you will feel less isolated in your journey and more comfortable with your decision to expand your family.

Getting Pregnant In Your 20s

Many sources, including the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, still believe that a womans best years to have a baby are her 20s. A healthy couple under 30 has approximately a 95% chance of getting pregnant after a year of having unprotected sex. Unless you have a health condition impacting fertility, such as endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome , you can reasonably expect to get pregnant in your 20s with relative ease. Your risks of miscarriage, pregnancy complications, and genetic problems with your baby are also lowest in your 20s, given that you are overall healthy.

Are My Risks Different From The Risks Younger Women Face

Yes. Older women experience first-trimester miscarriage with greater frequency than younger women. Ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening condition in which an egg implants in a location other than the uterus, and it is more common with increasing age. After age 35, that risk is as high as 4-8 times that of younger populations. Also with age come higher rates of chronic illnesses such as obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. These disorders can exacerbate the already-increased risk involved with pregnancy after age 40.

Beyond age 45, there are even more risks. A recent study that looked at almost 37 million deliveries between 2006 and 2015 showed that women aged 45-54 years have the highest rates of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, postpartum hemorrhage, and hysterectomyas well as c-section deliveries.

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Can You Get Pregnant At 45

Your Chances Of Getting Pregnant At Any Age

Yes, it’s possible to get pregnant at 45, though conceiving naturally is unlikely. A woman’s prime fertility time is between her late teens and her 20s, and once you reach your mid-30s, your ability to get pregnant starts to decline.

From the mid- and late-30s on, especially from age 40 and beyond, this dip in fertility tends to happen a bit more rapidly. Thats because a woman is born with a fixed number of eggs in her ovaries, and as she ages, the number of eggs starts to decrease.

Whats more, those remaining eggs are more likely to have chromosomal abnormalities, making a healthy conception trickier and the chance of a miscarriage more likely. Older women are also more likely to have gynecological issues that affect fertility .

All this means that it’s hard for many women to get pregnant naturally at 45. But it’s not impossible, especially thanks to assisted reproductive technology.

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Are There More Risks If Youre Pregnant Over 40

Statistically, there are higher risk factors from the age of 35 and the risks increase as you get older. But try not to let this worry you as most pregnancies will be healthy.

Your age may affect how well the placenta is able to develop. This could make other complications more likely, including:

  • having a baby with a low birth weight
  • low-lying placenta or placenta praevia
  • placental abruption.

Sadly, miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy are more common in older women. The rate of miscarriage rises with age, with 1 in 2 pregnancies in women over 45 ending in miscarriage.

Your midwife and GP are trained to care for pregnant women in their 40s but you may also be referred to a consultant. In some hospitals and maternity units, women over 40 will be under consultant-led care. This depends on your hospitals policy.

Can I Get Pregnant At 45 The Fertility Preservation Option

Recommended for younger women who wish to delay parenthood for career, social or medical reasons, fertility preservation involves freezing and storing eggs, sperm, or embryos. These techniques for preserving fertility offer women flexibility concerning their own fertility decisions and freedom of choice over when to become a mother. These treatments can also be used to ensure that patients are able to have children after completing treatments for cancer that may affect their fertility. This is also a treatment that we recommend in the case of patients at risk of losing ovarian function: for example, women who are due to undergo chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment, and women who may need repeated ovarian surgery, for example, to treat endometriosis.

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What Happens During The Menstrual Cycle

Follicles, or small, liquid-filled balls, are found in the ovaries. The eggs are inside these follicles. However, at the beginning of each menstrual cycle, the brain produces a follicle-stimulating hormone that stimulates follicle growth. When a follicle matures, it releases an egg, and that egg is ready to be fertilized by sperm.

If this happens, the woman becomes pregnant. The cells are implanted in the endometrium, i.e. the uterine lining, and develop to form a baby.

However, if the egg isnt fertilized, the uterus sheds its lining and is discarded by the body as menstrual flow, restarting the cycle. From the age of 16, the typical length of each menstrual cycle is from 26 to 35 days.

7 years after that, women being their most fertile stage, in which the body is more inclined to get pregnant. This fertile period lasts until the late thirties or early forties.

However, fertility begins to decline gradually after that. Menstrual periods are less frequent due to age-related changes. Why does this happen?

Chances Of Getting Pregnant By Age

Pregnant at 45 (MUST WATCH TTC) – Real story!
At birth, women will have their entire lifetime supply of eggs. As women age, the quality and quantity of those eggs begins to decrease. This, paired with the fact that human reproduction is not the most efficient process, makes timing key.
Many are surprised to learn that each month, on average, a woman only has a 15 to 20 percent chance of conception. For women in their 20s, their chances of getting pregnant within 1 year are 78 to 86 percent. For women 30 to 34, their chances of getting pregnant within 1 year is approximately 63 percent. For women ages 35 to 39, the chances of conception within 1 year declines to 52 percent. This rate continues to decline in a womans 40s, until she reaches menopause, typically between ages 48 and 55.
This is not to say that after 12 months of trying, conception magically declines, but rather that most fertile couples will have conceived, and couples who have not may likely have some form of infertility.
Womans Age
35 to 39 years old 52%

Figure 1: Adapted from Hendershot GE,, Infertility and age: an unresolved issue. Family Planning Perspectives. Vol,14 5 , p. 288 Ó The Alan Guttmacher Institute.

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Pregnant At 45 With Own Eggs

While IVF and PGS technology can dramatically increase a womans chances of getting pregnant later in life, there will come a time when a womans eggs are simply no longer viable. Although of course there are exceptions, using own eggs for IVF by women over the age of 45 is unlikely to be successful. This means that you are very unlikely to get pregnant at 45 with own eggs. Fortunately, this does not necessarily mean that a woman is incapable of carrying her own child. The uterus does not age at the same rate as a womans eggs, and many fit and healthy women are able to carry babies using donor eggs well into their 50s. If you are considering pregnancy in your 40s or 50s, we can evaluate both your uterus and your remaining egg count to determine your options and the best course of action.

What Are The Symptoms Of Pregnancy At Age 45

It can be tricky to tell if you’re pregnant at 45 based on symptoms alone. This is because many of the early symptoms of pregnancy are the same as symptoms of menopause .

According to the NHS, the average age of menopause in the UK is 51, but it often happens any time between about 45 and 55 years of age. And about one in 100 women experience the menopause before they’re 40 .

So at 45, it’s possible that any pregnancy-like symptoms you experience could be due to the menopause instead.

Here’s how to tell the difference between pregnancy symptoms and menopause symptoms, according to Healthline:

Symptoms of both pregnancy and menopause:

  • A missed period
  • Feeling more tired than usual
  • Mood swings and changes to your sex drive
  • Bloating and cramping
  • Food cravings, or sensitivities to certain tastes or smells

More likely to be a symptom of menopause:

  • Vaginal dryness

If you’re having any of the above symptoms and think you might be pregnant, the only way to tell for sure is to take a pregnancy test. Learn all about home pregnancy tests, including when to take one and what to expect from the results.

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Who Can Still Get Pregnant

The bottom line is if you havent reached menopause defined as 12 straight months without a period you can still get pregnant. Dr. Bembry acknowledges that some women develop a false sense of security when they go off birth control and go for years without becoming pregnant.

Similarly, women with a history of infertility might assume they cant get pregnant in their 40s. The same goes for women with premature ovarian failure. While these patients may look like theyre menopausal, they can still ovulate and become pregnant.

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Euploid Embryo Vs Aneuploid Embryo A Primer

Can you still get pregnant at 46 years old?

Quick biology lesson, here. An embryo can become abnormal if either of its two main parts is abnormal in some way. Genetically healthy people and babies have 46 chromosomes 22 pairs of numbered chromosomes and 1 pair of sex chromosomes, indicating the sex of that person.

When an embryo has the correct number of chromosomes , scientists call that embryo chromosomally normal, or euploid. If that embryo has 45 or 47 chromosomes, which is not the correct number of chromosomes, scientists call that embryo chromosomally abnormal or aneuploid.

While mens sperm can stay normal late into their lives, womens eggs can be abnormal at any point of their reproductive lifespan, but its much more common for older women. The older a woman, the more age-related distress her eggs have undergone. This is why as a woman ages, its more likely she will have abnormal eggs in her egg reserve, and an abnormal egg will ovulate, leading to an abnormal embryo.

Note: This is not to say aneuploidy cannot come from the sperm it can but it more often comes from the egg, especially for couples where the woman is older than 37.

What happens when an abnormal egg ovulates?

Usually, nothing much. If that egg is fertilized by sperm, it usually does not implant inside the womans uterus because the body is smart it can tell the embryo is abnormal.

What about normal eggs?

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Menopause Vs Pregnancy Symptoms

There are many symptoms that may accompany pregnancy and menopause. Symptoms in one pregnancy may differ from another pregnancy, even in the same woman. Likewise, menopause symptoms differ from person to person, and they also can change over time. The following are some general symptoms that you may have in perimenopause and pregnancy.

Are You Too Old To Have A Baby At 40 Or In Your Late 30s

Studies show that womens ovarian reserve goes down significantly after 37 years old, and at the age of 40 your chances of conceiving are just over 20%, but there are many reasons why you might be trying for a baby at this age. You might be trying for your first baby or you might want to add an additional member to the family.

Sometimes it just cant be planned and isnt within your control it could take a long time to find the right partner, you might have been trying to get pregnant for years with your first or you might be experiencing secondary infertility. Or perhaps you were prioritising your career or didnt see having a baby as something that you wanted to do earlier. Feeling ready to have a baby is a deeply personal choice.

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Needing To Have A Caesarean

Women over 40 are the most likely age group to have a caesarean birth. It is almost twice as likely that you will need a caesarean. This may be because the uterine muscle is less effective as we get older, particularly in first-time mums. If you have additional complications, such as a large baby, your healthcare team may discuss with you about having a planned caesarean.

Its Harder To Stay Pregnant

How Would You Feel if You Were Pregnant at 50? | Loose Women

Miscarriages and stillbirths can happen at any age, but the chances increase as you get older. Pregnancy losses that happen before 20 weeks which are called miscarriages anything later is considered a stillbirth are almost always caused by chromosomal problems in the embryo, which are more likely in older eggs. For this reason, according to Dr. van Dis, women between 40 and 44 have a 33 percent chance of miscarriage. Across all pregnancies, miscarriage risk is believed to be closer to 10 to 20 percent, though estimates can vary. It is possible these percentages may be higher, because, for instance, many women who miscarry do so before they know they are pregnant and may not report it.

Evidence also suggests that pregnant people in their 40s are at higher risk of stillbirth. The reasons are a bit murky though in a 2008 review of studies, researchers suggested that the higher incidence of conditions like high blood pressure during pregnancy or gestational diabetes among older mothers may be at least partly to blame.

Because longer gestational times can increase the risk of stillbirth, many doctors wont allow a woman over 40 to go into labor past her due date. Generally, she will be given a planned induction.

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What Are The Risks Of Pregnancy After 40

In people who can get pregnant, the peak reproductive years span the time between your late teens and late 20s. Your fertility will begin to go down around age 30. This process continues more quickly starting in your mid-30s. Once you reach 45, your fertility will usually be so low that a natural pregnancy is unlikely for most people.

But some women may still have a âmenopause baby.â This refers to a pregnancy and delivery that happens when youâre in perimenopause, the transition into menopause .

The sperm-producing parent may also have a decline in fertility with age. While this isnât as predictable, it could still affect your chances of pregnancy at 40.

Other risks of pregnancy at 40 include complications that are more common at this age. Older women tend to have more health issues than younger women, such as high blood pressure.

This condition can put you at a higher risk for preeclampsia, which is when you suddenly develop high blood pressure and signs of organ damage while pregnant. If doctors donât treat this, it can lead to serious or fatal problems for you and your baby.

But later-in-life pregnancies can also affect the health of your baby, even if you donât have any health conditions. If you get pregnant at 40, youâll have a higher risk of:

A higher birth weight of your baby. One study found that the risk of macrosomia goes up with age.

C-section. If youâre 40 or older, youâre more likely to have a C-section delivery than a vaginal delivery.

Are My Eggs Bad After 40

All women have a percentage of eggs that are genetically abnormal. This means that even if those eggs are fertilized, the pregnancy will not end in a live or genetically normal baby. The percentage of normal eggs a woman has decreases as she ages. At age 25, a woman has approximately 75% normal eggs. By age 35, that number drops to around 45%, and by 40, its around 20-30%. This is one reason why most physicians recommend genetic testing for conditions such as Trisomy 21 in a pregnancy over age 35.

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