What Are The Chances Of Getting Pregnant At 45 Or Older
Your chances of conceiving decrease as you age. It’s natural for you to worry about becoming pregnant when you are past what is considered the fertile and reproductive age, which is below 35 years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that about 30% of women between ages 40 and 44 have infertility issues.
The Chances Of Getting Pregnant By Age:
In the graph above, you see little change between women under 25 and those over 35. However, when you look at the percentage of women who became pregnant within a year of trying, the difference becomes clearer. This is a result of declining egg reserve and quality.
Take away: In your late 30s the odds of getting pregnant begin to decline, dropping more dramatically after 40. The vast majority of women under 35 will become pregnant with monthly unprotected sex within one year.
Timing and age are the two primary drivers behind the odds of getting pregnant in general Of course, many smaller health issues can play a big role as well. We cant possibly cover them all but will try to touch on some of the more common issues.
Iui Success Chances By Age:
Age is a crucial factor determining the odds of IUI success. Pregnancy with IUI can vary based on your age.
Women under 35-50 have a 15-20% per cycle chance of success. However, women over 40 have just 5% or lower chances of per-cycle success. This happens due to a drop in the conception rate. When a woman ages, her egg quality declines, which can also reduce the chances of IUI cycle success rate.
Get A Preconception Checkup
Before you officially start trying, get a checkup. Ask your doctor about prenatal vitamins that have folic acid, which helps protect against some birth defects, such as spina bifida. Folic acid works during the early stages of pregnancy, so that’s why it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough folic acid even before you get pregnant.
“Do this the cycle before you start trying,” says Paula Hillard, MD, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford University. “If you have any underlying medical problems, they need to be under control before you can safely become pregnant.”
The Success Of Pregnancy At Different Ages
You are born with approximately two million eggs, and they are all you will have in your lifetime. Your biological clock starts ticking when you get your first period and continues until you reach menopause. By the time you receive your first period, your egg supply reduces to approximately 300,000 eggs. Between the ages of 12 and 52, you will ovulate about 500 times, and not all of those eggs will be healthy.
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Getting Pregnant In Your 40s
You are significantly less likely to get pregnant in your 40s than in your 20s or early 30s. By age 40, your chances of getting pregnant are only 5% during each menstrual cycle, compared with 25% per cycle during your 20s. Your odds of miscarriage, pregnancy complications, and birth defects are also highest in your 40s.
In your 40s, you may only have a few years if you want to get pregnant naturally. By age 45, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that getting pregnant naturally is unlikely for most women. After age 45, you will probably need to use assisted reproductive technology, such as in-vitro fertilization , to get pregnant. For more information on getting pregnant in your 40s, check out our blog post here.
What Happens During Ovulation
The average menstrual cycle is 28-35 days. Ovulation usually happens between days 11 and 21 of your cycle. A hormone called luteinizing hormone surges, triggering the release of the egg thats most ripe. At the same time, your cervical mucus becomes more slippery to help sperm make their way to the egg.
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How Do I Know When Im Ovulating
Ovulation typically occurs about midway through your cycle. If you have a regular cycle meaning the amount of time between each period is consistent you may be able to guess when ovulation will occur or simply time intercourse just before the middle of your cycle.
However, not everyone has a regular cycle and ovulation can vary by a day or two even in those with regular cycles. This is where tracking your cycle becomes important.
Changes in our fertility hormone levels prepare the body for and trigger ovulation each cycle. Understanding and monitoring these hormone shifts is the most tried and true way to know when youre ovulating.
At-home ovulation tests most often measure luteinizing hormone levels. A dramatic increase in LH is what triggers the ovary to release the egg.
Ovulation should occur about 12-36 hours after an LH surge. That means a positive ovulation test identifies your 2 most fertile days each cycle.
But, as we know, there are a few more days each cycle when you can be fertile. Another hormone, estrogen, rises even before LH as your body gears up for ovulation.
Ovulation tests that measure estrogen and LH, like Proov Complete, provide even more fertile days each cycle. That way you have the maximum amount of time to try!
While directly measuring your hormone levels with tools like ovulation tests are the best way to track your cycle and know when youre ovulating, there are a few other ways to predict ovulation. Here are just a few:
How Can I Get Pregnant Naturally After 35 And Over 40
If youre trying to get pregnant after you turn 35, or older, you can maximise your chances of conception by knowing when you ovulate, which is when your ovaries release an egg. One reason why many couples struggle to get pregnant is that 1 in 2 couples may be trying to conceive at the wrong time of the month4. There are only a few days each menstrual cycle when you can get pregnant and your fertile days can vary between cycles. If you know when your fertile days are, it can help you get pregnant faster. detect the surge of a hormone called luteinising hormone which occurs 24 to 36 hours before ovulation and identifies your 2 most fertile days. Since can survive for up to 5 days, your fertility window is actually around 6 days, so you may want to invest in a test that also detects a rise in estrogen. This rise in estrogen happens in the days leading up to your LH surge, so identifying these days gives you a wider fertility window giving you more opportunities to get pregnant.
Professor William Ledger, Fertility Specialist
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Kick The Smoking And Drinking Habits
Smoking can lead to fertility problems in both women and men. Chemicals found in cigarette smoke, such as nicotine and carbon monoxide, speed up the loss rate of a womans eggs, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
Smoking ages a womans ovaries and depletes her supply of eggs prematurely, according to the Mayo Clinic. In a study published in 2020 in the journalReproductive Biology and Endocrinology, researchers looked at scientific findings around smoking, alcohol, addiction and fertility they found that smoking is linked to decreased fertility.
Its also a good idea for women to stay away from secondhand smoke, which may affect their chances of becoming pregnant, according to a 2009 study published in BMJ Journals. Taking or attempting to conceive should also be avoided.
Its safest for a woman to avoid alcohol when she is hoping to become pregnant. A woman should also stop consuming alcohol if she stops using birth control because she wants to get pregnant. That said, a 2019 Danish study of 1,708 women over a five-year period did not find a link between regular alcohol consumption and binge drinking, and fertility, according to the study published in the journalHuman Reproduction.
However, a 2017 study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology found that in the United States, half of all pregnant women drink alcohol around the time they conceive or during early pregnancy, usually before they know they are expecting.
How Long Does It Take For A Woman To Get Pregnant
Getting pregnant depends on when you have intercourse. If you are expecting pregnancy, then intercourse during you fertile window will likely make you conceive. Your fertile window is between a day after you ovulate and 5 days before ovulation. If you have intercourse outside your fertile window, it will take you a longer time to get pregnant or no pregnancy at all.
What Are Your Chances Of Getting Pregnant
If youre wondering what your odds are of getting pregnant, your chances are pretty good when youre younger. In fact, an average healthy couple in their 20s and early 30s has about a 25 to 30 percent chance of getting pregnant during any one menstrual cycle, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists .
Though that number may seem low, over the span of a year it means your chances of conceiving are about 75 to 85 percent. Just keep in mind that those odds drop with age, which may be a factor if youre finding that its difficult for you to get pregnant.
Reasons You’re Not Getting Pregnant
Even if your doctor has reassured you that it may take six months to a year to conceive, you might be wondering why it’s not happening quickly for you. Here are some possibilities.
- Luck. So much must happen for ovulation, fertilization, and implantation to occur, and for the embryo to be healthy and genetically stable. Up to 70% of early miscarriages are due to genetic defects in the embryo.
- Frequency and timing of sexual intercourse. You don’t need to drive yourself crazy trying to aim for your most fertile days . That said, if you’re consistently not having sex just before ovulation, or you’re having sex infrequently, this may mean you’ll need more time to conceive.
- Age. The older a woman get, the longer it may take for them to conceive. This doesn’t necessarily mean they will be infertilethough those odds also go up with time. But age can make it less likely you’ll conceive month by month. This is partially due to lower quality egg and sperm, with increased DNA mistakes.
- Weight. If you or your partner are obese or severely underweight, this can increase the time it will take you to get pregnant.
- Fertility problems. You may not be getting pregnant because there are female or male fertility issues. Sometimes, you have symptoms or risk factors, and you already know the odds of conceiving quickly might be lower for you. In other cases, the only sign that something is wrong is that you’re not pregnant after six months to a year of trying.
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Why Is It So Hard To Get Pregnant
There are many possible reasons, including ovulation irregularities, structural problems in the reproductive system, low sperm count, or an underlying medical problem. While infertility can have symptoms like irregular periods or severe menstrual cramps, the truth is that most causes of infertility are silent.
Take A Prenatal Vitamin
Pavone recommends that women who are attempting to conceive start taking a prenatal vitamin even before becoming pregnant. This way, a woman can find one that’s more agreeable to her system and stay on it during pregnancy, she said.
Another possibility is to take a daily multivitamin, as long as it contains at least 400 micrograms per day offolic acid, a B vitamin that’s important for preventing birth defects in a baby’s brain and spine, Pavone said.
TheCenters for Disease Control and Prevention urges women to take 400 mcg of folic acid every day for at least one month before getting pregnant, to help prevent birth defects.
Getting a head start on folic acid supplementation is a good idea because the neural tube develops into the brain and spine three tofour weeks after conception occurs, before many women may realize they’re expecting.
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Get Help And Resources Today
If you want to learn more about your chances of becoming pregnant, or if you think you could be pregnant and want to take a free pregnancy test at our clinic, call Hope Clinic today. All of our services are 100% free, confidential, and private. Call us at or text to schedule your free pregnancy test and learn about our other services.
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Timing Of Intercourse During Ovulatory Cycle
The chance of conception in an ovulatory cycle is related to the day in the cycle on which intercourse takes place. The window of opportunity lasts six days, ending on the day of ovulation. A study by Dunson et al showed that the probability of conception rose from six days before ovulation, peaked two days before ovulation, then fell markedly by the day of ovulation. This shows that sperm need to be deposited in the female genital tract before ovulation to maximise chances of conception. This is consistent with the progesterone induced changes in cervical mucus that occur immediately after ovulation and impede the penetration of sperm.
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Likelihood Of Getting Pregnant While Menstruating
Based on a typical 28 day menstrual cycle, its extremely unlikely to get pregnant while menstruating. The period marks the first day of a new cycle, and the fertile period starts around day 9-14. This means that for pregnancy to occur, youll need to have sex during the fertile window as sperm can only live inside the reproductive tract for around five days.
The chances of conceiving on the first few days of pregnancy are when it is the most unlikely to conceive, although the likelihood does increase towards the end of the menstrual period.
Identify Your Fertile Window And Start Tracking Ovulation
Your fertile window usually occurs mid-cycle and is when you have the highest chance of getting pregnant. During this window, ovulation when an egg is released from an ovary occurs. Once this happens, conception is possible.
Tracking your cycle helps set you up for success by narrowing down your fertile window. But the next step to further improve your chances of getting pregnant is identifying when youre ovulating. Since conception cant happen until an egg is released, knowing your ovulation window helps you better time sex.
From monitoring your cervical mucus and basal body temperature, to ovulation predictor kits, there are several methods to help figure out your most fertile days.
Want to know more? Check out our guide to fertility and ovulation.
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How To Take Action
Raise your hand if youre excited about your period. No? Nobody?
We get it. But the most actionable piece of advice for improving the odds of getting pregnant? Understanding your menstrual cycle and when you ovulate to better time intercourse around your most fertile days, says Dr. Zore. So, I say again, raise your hand if youre excited about your period!
To really dig into menstrual tracking for the sake of TTC, monitoring for ovulation is essential. Dr. Zore recommends either tracking the signs and symptoms that occur during ovulation or using ovulation predictor kits like these, or both!
2. Plot out your prime time to get busy
On the day of likely ovulation, its time to have sex! The best times to have sex for conception are the day of suspected ovulation and the next two days.
3. Use the right lube
A word of caution: Not all lubricants are TTC-friendly. Some lubes are harmful to sperm, potentially reducing the likelihood of conception during those sex sessions. Take a few moments to check ingredients. Dr. Zore recommends that we stick to those that contain a hydroxyethyl cellulose base.
4. Keep up with wellness
Going Off The Pill To Get Pregnant
How long does it take for the effects of birth control medication to subside? It’s actually possible to become pregnant immediately after going off the pill — as soon as the pill’s hormones are out of your system — although it may take a few months before ovulation begins normally again.
Is it safe to conceive right after you go off the pill? Yes. Women who conceive immediately after going off the pill are as likely to have a healthy baby as women who waited a few months in between.
When To See Your Doctor
Assuming you don’t have any symptoms or risk factors of infertility, you can start off trying to get pregnant the natural way. Be sure you’re educated about getting pregnant after 35. However, if you aren’t pregnant after six months, see your doctor.
Women younger than 35 years old are usually told to try to get pregnant for a year before seeking help, but a year is too long to wait past age 35.
The reason you can’t get pregnant may or may not have to do with your age. However, because as you get older, your odds for pregnancy success even with fertility treatment will decrease, it’s important to get help quickly.
If you are age 40 and wanting to get pregnant, see your doctor right away. You don’t need to start trying on your own first.
You can ask for basic fertility testing. Specifically, you want them to test your AMH and FSH levels. This will give your doctor an idea of your current ovarian reserves.
Whatever you do, don’t waste your time or money on at-home FSH or “menopause” tests. They may reassure you that your fertility is fine when it really isn’t.