21 answers

Getting Pregnant at 40 Years Old

I am planning on trying to have a baby next year, which will make me 40 by the time the baby would be born. I would like to know, number one, why has it been so difficult to get pregnant in my late 30's when I had no problem in my 20's, and any advise on the best way to go about getting pregnant (if the old fashion way isn't working). Should I go straight to IVF, or try other things first. I don't plan on trying again until I am recovered from my back surgery. I have had about three miscarriages, and used no birth control in seven years, so I know foresure there is a problem somewhere. I am not sure if it is my back problems or somethihg else. So, for all those out there thinking I am crazy about getting pregnante now....I am going to wait until my back is healed.

What can I do next?

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Hi there, I married in 2000 at the age of 30 and wanted kids by the time I was 35 - had no idea how hard it would be! We ended up going through IVF (triplets born in 2005) and what I was told was that as we age, we drop eggs less regularly - often multiple eggs one month then only one the next...totally unpredictable but that is how some older moms end up with multiples after trying forever.

IVF is expensive so if you haven't tried the new fertility meds out there - there are some that are pretty agressive - I have known 3 couples who have had successful pregnancies on the meds alone. IVF was a great experience for us and though it was a triplet pregnancy, I delivered at 35 years old and the kids had no complications.

I'd try the old fashioned way for at least a few months and if that doesn't work, I'd go see a specialist. I saw a great Dr. who has an office in Bellevue - Dr. Nancy Klein. She's one of the best in the area (her and her team). I know a lot of women who've seen her too and have had success in getting pregnant. There are other ways that are cheaper/easier than IVF - like IUI's. Best Wishes!

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This is a cranky letter from an old person,
People at 40 are often starting their perimenopause and frankly I find it unnatural and somewhant criminal and not that great for your health to be pregnant at this age. Esp. with your back problems. At this age you might not want to sacrifice your life and energy for so long and as I said, your back problem is extreme making pregnancy what I consider to be even a worse idea.This is probably not appreciated. And IV pregnancy. Why do people think that if they can not get pregnant naturally God, or whatever, wants them to try so artifically. Spend yor money, time, and energy on kids that are already here. Sorry, it just gets to me, insane perimenopausal women thinking it is a good thing to be pregnant. Ignore me and tell me to go to hell, sorry again.

1 mom found this helpful

A.. Like you, I love children. I had five....all when I was not yet thirty. I am afraid that I am on the side of those who think you are crazy to do this. Your two daughters will be 19 and 12 in two years and you may still have a bad back. Please get a puppy instead or wait a few years more and enjoy the great pleasure of being a grand mother. I am and its the best. You keep them for awhile and then they go home!! N..

1 mom found this helpful

I'd try the old fashioned way for at least a few months and if that doesn't work, I'd go see a specialist. I saw a great Dr. who has an office in Bellevue - Dr. Nancy Klein. She's one of the best in the area (her and her team). I know a lot of women who've seen her too and have had success in getting pregnant. There are other ways that are cheaper/easier than IVF - like IUI's. Best Wishes!

A little background on me: I just turned 43, and will deliver baby #4 in March (Please God, not on April 1st...;-). I have a two and a half year old daughter, born when I was 40, and two grown sons, ages 21 and 18 (obviously born when I was in my uberfertile 20's!).

From the "It worked for me" file:

Don't go for IVF. It's super expensive, runs a high risk of multiples, and no guarantee, either, just like trying naturally. What seemed to work for me was getting the otc ovulation kits and finding out if I was even ovulating and if so, what was my cycle. I was ovulating, but it was on the days when I felt so crummy and out of sorts that I nearly made my Dh sleep on the couch! LOL It was good for me to recognise how my body was handling ovulation now as a "way grown up" as compared to how it did as a 20-something. What also helped us was to set a loose 12 month limit: Relax, enjoy ourselves, and be okay with the fact that it *may* not happen--we didn't want to force a situation artificially. (honestly, after 8 months of trying for our daughter, I looked at our spare room and started thinking "formal dining room..." and that's when I conceived our daughter. :-) Remember, when we're in our later childbearing years, things sometimes just move a little slower.

How is your back condition going to play into the stresses of pregnancy? Will the kids and Dh pitch in if you're laid up with pain? What does your surgeon think? Will the major surgery repair or just shore up a deteriorating area? Will you be healed in time to manage that toddler who's clamouring for "Upeez!"?

God bless you in your adventures. I am hoping it all works out as wonderfully for you as it has for me. *hugs*

My name is B. Crane from Yonkers NY. i am in facing the same dilema. I have been joining all these groups trying to meet men and even went so far as to join an alcoholic group! lol! so now i got artificial insemination and i turn 40 in february. Also I hear it is a good way to meet men if your single mother.

If you have been having miscarriages, it may be your body telling you that it can't hold a pregnancy anymore. My friend just had her first miscarriage after 7 kids and she is 42. She is beginning to think that maybe her body is telling her to stop. Have you considered a surigate?

Wow, you have gotten some interesting and harsh input here.

I am a 35 yo mom and am pregnant with my 2nd child. It was dramatically harder to get pregnant this time, than it was at 30. However, it can be done-- the natural way! I would highly encourage you to do two things first. Purchase the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility, by Toni Wheeler. It will teach you how to follow your cycle and chart your most fertile times of the month. There is an entire website based on this method: www.ovusoft.com. It will also make it more clear if there are any problems or challenges in your cycle. The second thing you need to do during this time is some soul searching. Trying to have a baby at 40 or later is not an easy undertaking, so making sure that it is what you really want is VERY important. This process will at times push you to your breaking point, and there are no guarantees with anything, so you better want it more than anything!

Most fertility doctors require that you have "tried unsuccessfuly the normal way" for at least 6 months. When it is time to get medical help I HIGHLY recommend seeing a Reproductive Endocrynologist (RE) instead of a regular OB/GYN or fertility doctor. At your age there are many issues and factors to take into account, and an RE covers them all!

This is a very trying and slow process, so I wish you LOTS of patience! People who have not gone through this can be horrible. Keep your own needs and goals in perspective and stay close to your husband. This process can rip you apart if you are not careful! Best Wishes to you for all that you have in front of you! :0)

Hi A. -

I'm pretty certain you were asking for advice on fertility after 40, not whether or not you should have a child after 40... correct? Those who feel they have the right to judge you should be ashamed. There are pros and cons to having a child at any age, but if you and your husband would like to and you are able to have another at 40, I applaud you!

As an 'elderly primagravida' (nice term, hmmm?) I gave birth to my beautiful son at age 44. After I'd had 2 miscarriages, it was thought that I didn't so much have a problem getting pregnant, but staying pregnant. Then after a year of trying the third time, we were referred to a fertility specialist. They did testing on both my husband & I and found nothing that should prevent a pregnancy, so they prescribed a series of hormone injections (to force my cycle) and scheduled an IUI (intra-uterine insemination). For us, it turns out it was all in the timing... we became pregnant on the first try! (Please note: as they say on TV, 'results not typical'.) What I'm trying to say is... there are a number of ways to achieve pregnancy that are far less invasive and expensive than IVF (even for us old folks). That being said, once you are healed & healthy, don't waste too much time trying the 'old-fashioned way' before you seek the help of a specialist. After some fairly simple tests, they can evaluate the pair of you and advise you as to the best course of action.

God bless and good luck!

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