Women are told to have children before the age of 35. However, recent data showed that from 1990-2012, the rate of women between the ages of 40-44 who became first-time mothers more than doubled. Many women are choosing to get pregnant later in life due to a desire for a career or financial security before growing a family.
2. Risk increases
Thanks to today’s technology, having a healthy and safe pregnancy at 40 is possible. However, statistically, women in this age group are considered high-risk. Women in the 40s who are pregnant can have higher risks of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and preeclampsia, miscarriage, birth defects, and ectopic pregnancy.
3. You may need help
After the age of 35, fertility does decline. As women get older, there are fewer eggs to fertilize, and the ovaries may not release those eggs correctly. However, there are many assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatments that can help women boost fertility. In vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine insemination (IUI), egg freezing, and gestational surrogacy are all viable options for women over 40 who are struggling with fertility.
Preparing for pregnancy
At any age, women can work to optimize health before trying to get pregnant. Women should exercise consistently, eat a nutritious diet, and maintain a healthy weight. All of these actions can make conception easier and lead to a healthier pregnancy.
What can I do to boost success?
Like with any pregnancy, pregnant women over 40 should practice good health habits to optimize the health of the baby. Exercise regularly, take a prenatal supplement, and practice proper nutrition. For anyone who wants a healthy pregnancy, managing stress through mindfulness or breathing is also beneficial.
When to see a specialist
For women over the age of 35, experts recommend seeing a fertility specialist if the couple has been trying to get pregnant for at least 6 months without success. If any known underlying conditions may affect fertility, women may opt to see a specialist even sooner. A fertility specialist can provide a thorough evaluation and recommend treatment options to make pregnancy a success.