Health & Fitness

Getting Pregnant at 40

From a biological point of view, women can get pregnant as soon as they hit puberty. Once their menstrual cycle begins, they become fertile. Medical experts have estimated that the best period to conceive a child is between 20 and 30. Since women are born with all the eggs they will ever have, age becomes a crucial factor when it comes to getting pregnant. 

However, it is not the only factor to be taken into consideration. The article will give you everything there is to know about getting pregnant at 40.

Age and Fertility

As we have already alluded to, age is an important factor in regards to fertility. Studies have shown that every woman is born with about 2 million eggs. This number gradually decreases as you get older. By the time you are approaching 40, the number of eggs drops to about 20,000. This is in stark contrast to the half a million mark most women hit when they are younger. Research conducted by the American College of Obstetricians concluded that once women hit a certain age, their fertility is impacted by several factors:

  • Some Eggs become unhealthy
  • Health conditions that can adversely affect conception.

Despite the health factor, technological advancements have greatly improved the chances of conception, even at 40. The options they have include:

  • IVF Treatments
  • Going to sperm banks
  • Surrogacy- this is when you hire someone to carry the pregnancy to term for you. We should point out that this option does not come sharp. In America, for instance, the going rate for a surrogate is about $30,000.
  • Women can also freeze their eggs when they are much younger. This gives them the option to have kids even in their advanced age.

Is it safe to have a baby at 40?

However, medical professionals have pointed out that there are a few complications that can arise from having a child after you hit 40. Some of these complications can range from:

  • Low birth weight- this occurs when a baby is born prematurely. They usually weigh less than 5 pounds and 8 ounces. Having a baby at an advanced age is one of the things that can cause LBW. Babies born prematurely tend to experience problems like weight gain and a compromised immune system.
  • High blood pressure- women who get pregnant at 40 are highly susceptible to hypertension, which causes blood pressure to rise exponentially. When pregnant women experience high blood pressure, this can lead to preeclampsia. 
  • Excessive bleeding after giving birth.
  • Miscarriage-This usually occurs in the first trimester. 
  • They have to have a C-Section (cesarean operation) as opposed to natural birth.
  • Developing a low-lying placenta can result in excessive bleeding for the mother while she is in labor. Sometimes it can even occur before the due date.

Advantages of having children at 40

Many medical experts will tell you that getting pregnant during your prime years is beneficial to the infant in question. It has also been clinically proven that women between the age of 20 and 30 have relatively lower pregnancy complications to contend with than their older counterparts. Yet we cannot overlook the fact that having kids past the age of 40 comes with its perks. One such advantage is that women around this age are generally more financially secure, enabling them to offer their children a better life.

They are also more likely to be in a committed relationship, which means that they are more likely to grow up in stable homes. Recent studies even suggest that having a child at 40 could also positively impact the cognitive function of the child in question. 

These kids generally profit from their parents’ experience and wealth of wisdom. Several medical studies have found that getting pregnant at 40 can go a long way toward reducing the risk of uterine cancer. This also applied to women who had their last born child at that age.

What can you do to improve your chances of getting pregnant at 40?

There is no way around it; getting pregnant at 40 is harder than when you were younger. Here are a few helpful tips for those who are slightly older and looking to increase their chances of getting pregnant.

  • Investing in prenatal vitamins is one of the NHS approved methods of increasing your odds of conception. Folic acid and Vitamin D is crucial during pregnancy. They help the baby to develop with minimal health complications. 
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you consume. Several studies have shown that excessive consumption of liquor can adversely affect your chances of getting pregnant. Even just three glasses of wine per week have proven to be dangerous.
  • Quit smoking- While this might seem obvious, it still goes without saying that smoking and pregnancy should not go hand in hand. Scientists estimate that women who smoke are more likely to hit menopause a few years earlier than those who don’t. With menopause comes infertility, and so to prolong this, quitting smoking becomes vital.
  • Increase the occurrence of sex during ovulation. This is essentially a numbers game. Women who have more sex are statistically more likely to get pregnant than everyone else. Experts say that your chances of conception drastically increase if you engage in intercourse a day after they start ovulating. So understanding how your body and menstrual cycle in particular works is essential. 
  • Avoid junk food and look into healthier options. Foods like vegetables and fruits are said to help improve one’s chances of getting pregnant. It also aids in the fetus’ development after conception. Staying healthy can also help women over 40 keep their BMI in check, which also improves their fertility. Obesity is one of the factors that can negatively impact one’s chances of inception, so it is vital to maintain a healthy eating habit during this time.
  • Trying out ART. This is an acronym for Assisted Reproductive Technology. Women who invest in this method are required to remove their eggs, which are then taken to the laboratory to be inseminated in a lab, before they are put back in the woman’s uterus.
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