Louise Chidgey 45 West Dorset: They Used To Shout Geriatric Mother Across The Clinic Which Highlighted My Age
I was just 40 when I got pregnant through in vitro fertilisation , but I needed that because I have endometriosis. Lots of people asked whether I had a child later because of my career, and while I did have a high-pressured job it wasnt really that. It just happened that at 39 I met the right person. I had no problems getting pregnant and it happened after my first round of IVF.
I never got the feeling from friends or colleagues that I was too old. I was a trend forecaster in interiors and fashion at the time, and worked with a lot of young people, who were all supportive. The only place I felt conscious of my age really was at hospital I was called a geriatric mother, or some term like that. They used to shout it across the clinic.
The doctors do put fear into you, and my biggest worry was that my child might have Downs syndrome because the risks of that are so much greater when youre older. Also, I wanted a natural birth and I was told that wouldnt be possible. The birth included three days of labour and ended with a forceps delivery. I am not sure if it was my age or just that Jesse was a really big baby, at nine pounds, that made it so hard.
If Youre Over 35 And Generally Healthy Your Pregnancy Should Be Too
This is why Dr. Minkin advises anyone whos pregnant at 35 or after to do their best to stay healthy with steps like exercising regularly. We can never guarantee that someone wont get gestational diabetes, she says. But trying to lower your risk if you can puts the odds more in your favor.
Ultimately, age by itself should not be major criteria for a high-risk pregnancy, says Dr. Kilpatrick. Its really age plus whatever else is going on with that woman.
Additional reporting by Zahra Barnes.
Improving Your Chances Of Becoming Pregnant
Youll have a better chance of getting pregnant if you understand your menstrual cycle. The average cycle is 28 days, but it can vary from anywhere between 20 to 40 days for some women.
If your cycle is regular, then you can know that you probably ovulate 2 weeks before the start of your next cycle. So you can work from that and work out the best time to have sex.
Also, both you and your partner should be as healthy as you can be. Apart from anything else, this really will help your chances of getting pregnant. You can both:
- quit if you smoke, and avoid passive smoking
- be a healthy weight
- check for and treat any sexually transmitted infections
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Pregnancy Over 35 Is Actually Quite Common
I had my first child at 33, my second at 36, and recently delivered my third at age 39. When I got pregnant at 32, I was one of the first of my friends to have kids. The rest joined the club after age 35, echoing a national trend of waiting longer to start having children.
People might want to get their career going and wait a little while, or wait until they meet the right person, Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale Medical School, tells SELF. Whatever the reason may be, times are changing when it comes to how long people are holding off before having children.
The average age at first childbirth rose to 26.9 years old in 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , a marked increase from 24.9 years old in 2000. For contexts sake, in 1970, people first gave birth when they were 21.4 years old on average, so theres a clear upward trend happening here.
Experts are seeing national shifts when it comes to having children at age 35 and over, too. From 2000 to 2014, the number of women 35 and over giving birth for the first time climbed from 7.4 percent to 9.1 percent, the CDC notes. Since then, it has generally continued to rise. In 2010, 45.9 out of every 1,000 women aged 35 to 39 gave birth, and in 2018, that number was up to 52.6 out of every 1,000 women aged 35 to 39, according to the CDC.
Other Ways To Add To Your Family
If you feel youve started this journey too late, have a frank discussion with your doctor. Make a preconception visit. Understand your odds and the risks associated with pregnancy at whatever age you find yourself.
Regardless, your age doesnt mean you cant explore other ways to grow your family. Other options include:
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Fertility Treatment Won’t Solve Age
Don’t put off seeking help because you think that fertility treatments can make up for the lost time. Fertility treatments become less successful as you age .
According to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology , the rate of fertility treatment success greatly decreases beyond the age of 40. The rate of live births for women between the ages of 35 and 37 is 42%, and 26.6% for women ages 38 to 40.
CDC data has shown that the percentage of live births per IVF cycle for women over the age of 40 is only 5.8%. However, if donor eggs are used, the rate of success rises to almost 40%.
When looking at pregnancy success rates for fertility drugs like Clomid, or for fertility procedures like IUI or IVF, keep in mind that it’s not just your age that mattersthe cause of infertility also plays a key role.
Your odds for pregnancy success with IUI treatment at age 27 is very different from when you’re 37.
Men’s Age And Fertility
While the effects of female age on fertility have been known for a long time, more recent studies have found that the age of the male partner also affects the chance of pregnancy and pregnancy health.
Male fertility generally starts to reduce around age 40 to 45 years when sperm quality decreases. Increasing male age reduces the overall chances of pregnancy and increases time to pregnancy and the risk of miscarriage and fetal death.
Children of older fathers also have an increased risk of mental health problems . Children of fathers aged 40 or over are 5 times more likely to develop an autism spectrum disorder than children of fathers aged 30 or less. They also have a slightly increased risk of developing schizophreniaand other mental health disorders later in life.
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Pregnancy Success At Different Ages
Its true that theres a biological clock of sorts. It starts when you get your first period and stops when you reach menopause. As time goes on, your chances of having a successful pregnancy become less and less as your egg reserve diminishes, your egg quality decreases, and your hormones change.
Fertility rates trend with the average number of eggs a woman has at any given age. In general, you begin puberty with between 300,000 to 500,000 eggs. This number drops to around 25,000 at age 37 and continues dropping to 1,000 or fewer by age 51.
How does this look exactly? Well, the likelihood of becoming pregnant naturally after a year of trying is as follows:
|< 30 years old|
People Believe That The Chances Of A Woman Getting Pregnant Reduce Drastically Once She Reaches The Age Of 30 But That Is Not Always The Case Here’s What You Need To Know
Written by Editorial Team | Updated : September 2, 2021 12:31 PM IST
One can feel like having a baby at any age. But if you’ve waited a little longer in life to start a family, you may be concerned you are too old to have a baby. A woman who gets pregnant after 35 is automatically put into the advanced maternal age category. However, successful pregnancy after 35 is still common and achievable. But what about post 40 or 45?
While getting pregnant may be challenging for some after a certain age, some may achieve it without any issues. Many factors play an important role here like current health status and menopause.
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When Is It Too Late To Have A Baby
As many women are faced with the challenges of establishing a career path and finding a stable partner, starting a family is now happening later in life. OB/GYN Dr. Kirtly Parker Jones talks about the trade-offs and risks of delaying pregnancy. She discusses modern technology, eggs, sperm, complications, considerations, and ramifications.
May 23, 2019
Is It Too Late For A Baby
This is not another depressing story about how fertility drops off a cliff at 35. In fact, there’s new hope for women wanting to conceive in their late 30s and 40s. Read on for the facts no one else is telling you.
Yaso + Junko When Michal Rubin began trying for her second child at age 37, she figured it would be a breeze: “I had gotten pregnant with my son Koby two years earlier, soon after going off the pill,” says Rubin, now 45. It wasn’t. Within 18 months, the former ad exec, who lives in Stamford, Conn., had had two miscarriages. Rubin saw an infertility specialist, eventually conceiving her daughter, Nava, via in vitro fertilization in which sperm fertilizes an egg in a petri dish and the resulting embryo is placed in the uterus. She didn’t bother going back on birth control after Nava was born. Nine months later, she was stunned to learn that she was pregnant. “For two days,” says Rubin, whose third, Lev, is now 3, “my husband and I couldn’t look at each other without laughing or crying.”
Bottom line: Yes, it is possible to have a baby after age 35a welcome message for women whose life circumstances didn’t line up neatly with an earlier conception date. And if it turns out that you are unable to conceive on your own, there are now more ways than ever before to become pregnant with medical help.
Your eggs: A primer
Yaso + Junko Yes, age affects fertility…
…But there’s more to the story
Try and try again
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
Even with the risks, some 17 percent of pregnancies in the United States are to mothers who are over 35. So, if youd like to explore this route, consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss the benefits and risks.
Some questions to ask your provider:
- What preexisting conditions might impact my odds of getting pregnant or carrying a healthy baby to term?
- What types of lifestyle changes might improve my fertility?
- What timing tricks or treatments might increase my chances of conceiving quickly?
- How soon should I seek help for infertility?
- Besides a prenatal vitamin, what supplements might help with my fertility ?
- What ART procedures might you recommend if were unable to conceive naturally? What are the associated costs?
- What types of prenatal testing are available to me to screen for chromosomal abnormalities? And what are the risks of testing?
- What options are available if abnormalities are discovered?
You might also want to ask if certain preconception testing might be helpful. You can get blood tests that check your hormone levels, thyroid function, and ovarian reserve . Other tests can check for any abnormalities or damage to the reproductive organs themselves, like the uterus and fallopian tubes.
And some doctors may suggest you meet with a genetic counselor to discuss your risks of carrying a baby with chromosome issues/genetic disorders.
Is 50 Too Old To Have A Baby
Having a baby after age 35 is more common than ever, but the buck doesnt stop there. Plenty of women are successfully having babies in their 40s and 50s, too. Weve all heard about the tick-tock, tick-tock of that biological clock, and its true age can make a difference in terms of natural conception.
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Miranda Maguire 43 Essex: I Am Conscious Of Certain Things As An Older Mum
When youre older theres a higher risk of something going wrong so doctors monitor you constantly. When I gave birth, being older, I also felt conspicuous in mother-and-baby groups, and couldnt always relate to what people were talking about as they were much younger. Thats why I set up my own group, for older mums, where I live. We could talk about issues that matter to us, such as IVF or experiencing miscarriages, which happen more when youre over 40. Also if you have a child later you dont always have your parents around and so you have less of a support network.
My decision to have a child later was partly due to a medical condition. I had fibroids that I had to get removed through a controversial operation at the time. When I had IVF some doctors said I wouldnt be able to conceive. We started trying at age 33, and at 38 doctors recommended us for IVF. I eventually gave up because it wasnt working, and thats when I got pregnant naturally. It was brilliant and a massive shock. At that point I had planned for a life without children.
These days I embrace spending time with my friends and their kids, as I now have a better understanding of their experiences and am less selfish about my own.
Success Rates After Age 35
Maybe you’re thinking you can just use fertility treatments. With IVF available, why worry about age? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
Just as your body doesn’t respond as well to your own hormones , your body will also not respond as well to fertility drug hormones.
According to statistics collected by the Center for Disease Control, the percentage of live births from IVF procedures using the mother’s eggs decreases with age. The live birth rates, after IVF treatment, are:
- 41.5% for women younger than 35
- 31.9% for women age 35 to 37
- 22.1% for women age 38 to 40
- 12.4% in women age 41 to 42
- 5% for women ages 43 to 44
- 1% for women older than 44 years old
The good news is that while the ovaries don’t work as well as women age, the uterus doesn’t seem to suffer as dramatically from aging. Women who can’t conceive using their own eggs can turn to egg donor IVF.
Women who used fresh egg donor IVF had an average 56% chance of pregnancy across all age groups, with odds reducing by age. While 36% of IVF implantations using a woman’s own fertilized eggs resulted in pregnancy.
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Women’s Age And Fertility
A woman is born with all the eggs she is going to have in her lifetime. Her eggs age with her, decreasing in quality and quantity. Age is the single most important factor affecting a woman ‘s fertility. While good health improves the chance of getting pregnant and having a healthy baby, it doesn ‘t override the effects of age on a woman ‘s fertility.
A woman in her early to mid-20s has a 2530% chance of getting pregnant every month. Fertility generally starts to reduce when a woman is in her early 30s, and more so after the age of 35. By age 40, the chance of getting pregnant in any monthly cycle is around 5%.
Reasons For Fertility Drop
As you age, so do your eggs. And you have fewer of them, too. Youre born with all the eggs youll ever have in your life, about 1 million. By the time you hit puberty, you may have about 300,000 left. At 37, youre down to just 25,000 — or 2.5% of your starting count. That matters because the fewer eggs in your ovaries, the lower your odds for conception.
Even if you do get pregnant, your older eggs are more likely to have abnormal chromosomes, which may raise your chance of miscarrying your baby. Also, women after 35 are more likely to have problems like endometriosis and uterine fibroids that make it harder for you to get pregnant.
The quality of your partners sperm also matters. As men age, their sperm tend to swim slower and begin to lose their shape. But sperm quality doesnt drop steeply until after men enter their 60s.
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How Can I Increase My Chances Of Having A Healthy Baby
Preconception checkups and counseling. When you decide youre ready to have a baby, take these steps before you get pregnant.
See your doctor. Get a checkup to make sure youre ready for pregnancy physically and emotionally.
Get early and regular prenatal care.The first 8 weeks of your pregnancy are important to your baby’s development. Early and regular prenatal care can boost your chances of having a safe pregnancy and a healthy baby. Prenatal care includes screenings, regular exams, pregnancy and childbirth education, and counseling and support.
Getting prenatal care also provides extra protection for women over 35. It lets your doctor stay on top of health conditions that are more common among women who are older when theyget pregnant. For instance, your age may increase your risk for gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, a condition that causes high blood pressure along with protein in the urine. During prenatal visits, the doctor will check your blood pressure, test your urine for protein and sugar, and test your blood glucose levels. That lets them catch and treat problems early.
Consider optional tests for women over 35.The doctor may offer prenatal tests that are a good idea for older moms. They can help figure out if your baby is likely to have a birth defect. Ask your doctor about these tests so you can learn the risks and benefits and decide what’s right for you.