When Is Too Late, Too Late?

Updated on December 11, 2010
Y.S. asks from Eagle, ID
26 answers

I will be turning 42 this year. My whole life I have always worried about not being able to have children, and yet relationship, career, business has always seem to get in the way of having a child. I am finally feeling settled in my marriage with a loving and supportive husband, however, I have had a lot of health issues due to years of stressful struggles. I felt I need some time to get my body back to shape. How late will it be too late? My mother was still having her period while she was in her late 50s. So, would genetic matters?

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So What Happened?

I was finally able to talk with my husband about my needs. Although he really do not like the idea, he has now stop against it. I have never been overweight or anything, just in general feel weak, and not at my best. The past year we traveled more, stopped all the stress inducing activities from work and business. I get to stay home and work through many issues that bothered me. Now, I am in better emotional condition, much calmer and less agitated and anxious. I can also predict my own period now, as the acupuncture treatment was very helpful. I think the next step is to talk with hubby again, as our relationship is deepening as well. So, all seems good. Currently doing another whole body detox, and put myself in the best shape.

And the latest updates!!!!!

I got pregnant the first time we DID it. It was still a surprise. We accepted what it comes. All genetic testing was normal. Last year at the end of September, I had my son Todd with c- section. He is a healthy and happy little baby, smile a lot and giggles a lot! Amazingly, he comes with a full head of beautiful hair. And he kept growing even though my friends tells me that after 3 minus they fall off....lol

Todd is turning one soon! I am breast feeding and loved every minute when I am with him!

I did not use any fertility services. I was going through acupuncture for thyroid issues. And after I got pregnant, I continued acupincture and was fortunate enough not having vomiting issues at all and kept skiing 4 month into the pregnancy. I do notice now that Todd is getting to be a little toddler, he takes a lot of energy....but, I am loving it.

Oh, hubby got a job with amazon. So we moved to the Silicon Valleylast year. Bought a house when the market was crazy, and now waiting for all the fruits and vegetables to mature in the back yard! Life is good!

Featured Answers



answers from San Francisco on

You can't count on genetics. Most people I know are starting menopausal symptoms in their 40's, And you know that eggs get old.

You are verging on too late right now. And it's not true that it's "never too late." Only a young person would say that. If you really want kids, you'd better get on it right away.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Given the increased difficulty in conceiving after 40, plus the increased risk of genetic abnormalities, would you consider adopting instead?

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answers from Seattle on

At 42, if you want a child get yourself to your doctor and start trying. Usually at that age doctors recommend starting assisted fertility methods if you're not pregnant within 3-6 months.
Even if your cycle is like clockwork, the quality of your eggs dimish rapidly with age. You may get your period for a long time to come, but that does not mean that your eggs can still produce healthy embryos.

So I don't think you are too old, but you definitely don't have any time to waste... good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I just had my last (and he is my last!) baby. I am 45. He was a surprise...a wonderful, beautiful surprise. It happens.

Women in my family have their periods into their 60s, SO I had a tubal ligation, because I really, really, really think I've pushed it as far as I care to.

I love my baby, but a surprise at 50 doesn't sound too good.

p.s. Don't wait until you are "back in shape". If you want to get pregnant, start trying. There will NEVER be a perfect time!

p.p.s. One of my sons is adopted. Also an option to consider, but you don't want to push that too late either.

I'd say start trying and GOOD LUCK!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

you SHOULD have a check-up with your OB/GYN. FIRST.

Each woman is different, when it comes to fertility... not it always being based on numerical age.

Getting a body back in shape... can take a LONG time too. How 'long' are you going to allot yourself, to get back in shape? And what is getting back in shape mean, for you???? The scale or how you feel or look??? That expectation can be never ending... too.

And then, what is it going to take, to feel 100% 'settled' in life/marriage/work/stress... before trying to have a baby? That too... is never ending per expectations....

If you want a baby.... see your OB/GYN.
I would not wait... to try and conceive.

Bear in mind, getting pregnant can take a LONG time, no matter what age you are or what lifestyle you have.

I have 2 kids.... (and had 1 miscarriage), and I conceived my 1st child... when I was over 35. I got pregnant each time, naturally. So I was lucky.
My kids are 4 years apart....
For me per my age when pregnant with my 2 children... those pregnancies were normal, no complications and they were born healthy and normal. BUT... I did have an Amniocentesis... with both those pregnancies... per my age at that time... and I chose, to do it.

My friend on the other hand, had IVF to conceive all her children. Her last child, was conceived when she was 46 years old. But it took time.....
Her kids were born normal, she had a normal pregnancy and no complications. Despite her age. She was lucky.

You CANNOT, ever, "Predict" when or if you will get pregnant. But sure, age does and can play a factor in it.

I would also suggest, that you take Pre-Natal vitamins... already. To get your body ready. My OB/GYN.... says to take Pre-natal vitamins.... even PRIOR to trying to get pregnant... and during pregnancy... AND even after the baby is born... while breastfeeding. For example.

all the best,

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

It's amazing (if not offensive) at the opinions younger women have on this subject.
Here's the deal: What's right for you is what is right for you! And I agree with the advice to speak to your OB/GYN to discuss risks, etc. You then will have your eyes wide open.
I delivered my first (and only--planned it that way) at 39. No problems, no complications, etc.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Madison on

Its never too late,You can still try to have kids or if needed consult a doctor ,I am sure you can have them.my cousin got married at the age of 40 & now she is having 2 beautiful daughters so I guess you can try too.

Good Luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

I would say that if you really want a baby, you should start trying right away. Just because a woman of 50 still has a period does not mean she still has viable eggs. Our fertility decreased every year after our early 20s.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I'd move FAST. Chances of genetic disorders get really scary around the age of 42. So even if you are able, you should expect at least 1 miscarriage, if not 2 or 3. I don't mean to scare you, and you may have no problems at all, but our eggs start to get really crappy after 40. So, it could take a long time to have a baby. You never know. I know 40 year olds who have no problems, then I have friends that are 38 that really struggle --one had 4 miscarriages between child number 1 and child number 2.

I will say this, I am 38 and hubby and I are tempted to have a third. If we are going to do it, it will be really soon --my youngest just turned 1. My husband doesn't want to try for a third because of the genetic issues. Neither he nor I want to put ourselves in that sort of situation.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Hi Y.,
I too started having my kiddos later in life. I was pregnant with my first at 39 and had twins at 42. I never thought a few years would make a big difference, but it did. With my first I got pregnant on the 4th try and was able to work full-time right up to the end. With the twins, I had to stop and was put on modified bed rest from month 4 on. I've always had regular periods and my mother also was in her 60s before she stopped having periods. But getting pregnant was much tougher at 42. There are so many factors that come into play besides just having a regular period. We tried everything and finally had success with in-vitro. It is a very expensive process. Additionally, my partner and I also had to sit down and have some very serious talks about the "what ifs". These are all personal decisions that only you and your husband can make together. But if you do want kids, I'd strongly encourage you to see an OB/GYN or reproductive endocrinologist. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Hi Y.,
For what it's worth, I had my first son at 43 and my second at 44. Both were conceived naturally and without really trying. It took 2 months with #1 and #2 was an "Oooooops!" If I were you, I would start trying ASAP. You just never know how hard or easy it will be until you start trying. Best of luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I would go for it now, no more putting it off!! See your doctor get the proper test done it then just go for it. There is nothing like having a baby and watching that child grow and become a beautiful human being but don't wait any longer or you may regret it.
Good luck and God bless!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

First question is, do you really want a child? If you are checked out by a doctor, you can probably have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy child. But the years left for that a few. As long as you are in good health, you should be able to carry a baby full term although you are in the "high risk" category. Your biggest concern should be the health of your child because after 35 all genetic illnesses increase dramatically. Some you can test for like Down Syndrome, others you can't, like autism. You have to be honest with yourself and ask how you would deal if that happened to you. Most likely everything will be fine. What if you have twins? Good luck!



answers from Atlanta on

I had my children at 36 and 38 and both are great! I had no trouble conceiving. At 42 the statistics point to a higher rate of genetic abnormalities or difficulty in conceiving, but that in NO way means you or your baby would be a statistic! I know one woman who wanted to get pregnant in her early -mid 40s who just never could. I know about 7 women who either had a big surprise around age 42 or 43 or purposefully got pregnant. They all delivered healthy babies. My own grandmother was 43 when she had my mother -and that was in 1945! One of my SILs had her second child at 43 -perfectly healthy boy and healthy, trouble-free pregnancy. A woman I became good friends with in my oldest son's playgroup was 43 when he was born. She had no idea she was pregnant -until she was! A good friend of mine from high school is due next week with her 2nd child and she's 42. She's had every test and he's perfectly healthy. Elizabeth Edwards, who unfortunately just passed away at 61, had her last child at 50.

Talk to your OB-GYN to assess your personal risks due to any health factors. If they give you the go ahead, and you really want a child -go for it!



answers from Pueblo on

I only read some of the answers but I agree with the Momma's who said start working on it now. I can take a long time to get pregnant especially if you have been on the pill. You can also work on getting in shape while you try to get pregnant; maybe that could be your work out motivation. My only suggestion is not to stress about having a baby; that will make things take longer. Best of luck to you!


answers from Dallas on

I am 38 and just had my first child 5 months ago. It was a very textbook pregnancy. I would like to have another child and was planning on talking to my OBGYN in January about the same question. I suggest you talk to your doctor.



answers from Glens Falls on

I have a friend that is pregnant for the first time at 50...she worked with a fertility specialist to make her dream come true. Why don't you talk to your OB/GYN about your plans, he/she can also start you on prenatal vitamins (in advance of pregnancy) which might help you feel better, too.



answers from Denver on

Ultimately it will be a decision for you, your hubby and your doctor. I would say if you had to get pregnant do it as soon as possible. Even though it is much more common that women have children at older ages now, I hated that my mom was 40 years older than me. My sisters were more active in my life due to them wanting to play and being able to relate better to me. ( my oldest sister was 16 years older and a lot of people thought she was my mom) Also you mentioned health issues, so when your in your 70's 80's you will have an adult child with maybe their own family beginning having the stress of helping you if your health is failing. So I guess what I am trying to say is also think of your child's future as well. If you were closer to 50 when you have a child, they would be in collage when you turn 70.
I hope you don't take this as harsh I am not a young kid, I still would of liked to had another child but I wont due to me having to wait till I was closer to 39/40. I know older parents can be more patient and financially stable, but also we get more set in our ways. I just thought to offer another view. Good luck and best of wishes in your decision.



answers from Springfield on

I am 41 and just had baby #3. I say go for it! My body is worn out after 3 babies, but now that I am officially "done" I am working on recovery. If it is a child you truly want, you should not wait. If you are unsuccessful, I would consider adoption. As for how late is too late, that is up to YOU and mother nature. :) Good luck!! (and like I said: GO FOR IT!)



answers from Chicago on

In my opinion, its not too late yet, but you are getting close! Don't put it off any longer. To give you some hope, I nannied for a little girl whose mom had her at 42 and she was perfect in every way =) Mom had a great pregnancy too and worked up til the week she had her. She had a very high power career, and that's why she needed me =)She was a great mom. But there are risks for someone who is older, you can't ignore that. Get a checkup with your doctor and go from there, but do it now. You also should consider that the longer you wait, the older you'll be and the less time you might be there for this child. No one has guarantees in life, but do you really want to still be dealing with those annoying tween years when your 60? Honestly I want to be getting close to enjoying my retirement at that point, lol. There are pros and cons to being an older mom and to each their own, but you can't ignore biology and most women would not have healthy babies into their 50's. You may want to consider other avenues to complete your family such as adoption or surrogacy to complete your family if you want to wait and are in the financial position to do so. I wish you the best!


answers from Minneapolis on

Just so you are aware.: Getting your period is not a 100% indicator of fertility.

Start TTC now.

35 is a "statistically significant age" for many things like decreased fertility, increased risk of miscarriage, and increased incidence of most birth defects.

But that is what the numbers say. Women over 40 have healthy pregnancies and perfect children every day. Congratulations on your next step in life!



answers from Washington DC on

I had my second at 35. I has a very scary false postive on some genetic fetal tests. But it was a wake-up call for me with regards to my age and continuing my family. I don't think I could go through that stress again. I am not saying that having a child with some genetic abnormality means that child wouldn;t be a joy. But I also thing it is very frightening. So, when I think about age, that is the concern I think of. Odds of genetic problems increase with age.

Also, in my experience, it really does get harder to conceive. It too me almost 18 months for my second after only 1 month the first time. And I have seen similar experiences with my friends.

The last pont I would make is that my mother was 37 when I was born. Having an older mother was fine and it probably made her a better mother. However, I don't like the fact that my mother is so much older than most of my peers now becasue I fear losing her. You age is a burden you pass on to your child.

I am in NO way saying don't do it. If you want to, then you should. Having children is the best thing I ever did in my life or will ever do. I can't recommend it enough. Even if you become a mother other than through pregnancy. However, I wouldn't wait. Get a gym membership, take your folic acid pills, and start trying :) Good luck!



answers from New York on

I think too late depends on what you want. My husband always believed that if he would be over 60 when our child was 18 then it was too late. Well he will turn 60 the year our youngest turns 17 so somewhere that idea changed for him. I think that happened because it took us 5 years to get pregnant with our oldest and so it reset that clock for him but of course he doesn’t say that was it. Sit down with your husband and talk about what you want and what you think you can do and then make a choice. I would make a solid choice soon though because the older you get the longer it may take to get pregnant. Good luck!



answers from Los Angeles on

I would definitely go for it but I'd start today!!! Also, because of your age, I'd make an appointment with a fertility specialist and work on conceiving naturally and through IVF. The chances for conceiving either way go down with age so I really wouldn't waste more than a month or two trying to become pregnant naturally. A fertility doctor can gauge your egg quality and run important tests. Of course, there are no guarantees either way but the technology is there so I'd embrace it. Good luck!!!



answers from Milwaukee on

Interesting. I am in my mid 30's and my husband would like another child and I am waiting for my body to get back to normal after a couple surgeries that all happened in a 3 month time frame. I also have allergy probs and asthma. I am trying to get it all straightened out so that I can be healthy for my husband and other children at the moment. I wish husbands were more understanding.



answers from Denver on

That's a very individual question. I had my first and only daughter at 43 - she turns 4 tomorrow! I found the pregnancy to be a breeze and had no issues - I was lucky! I went in to it very healthy and fit (I've been a serious runner for 25 years) and I think that helped. I also understood that my health really didn't have much effect on genetic stuff. I may be healthy, but my eggs were/are old ;) And then there's the energy you need to have to get through infancy and toddlerhood, etc. I had the attitude "let's see what happens" and we tried. In some ways I think it's easier being an older parent - I do have a better idea of what is important to me now than I did 10 years ago. I also had an opportunity to do all kinds of stuff with my husband (travel etc.) before having my daughter. So I have no regrets about having her. Had I started earlier, however, I might have had more! But if I did, then I wouldn't have her. Good luck with this difficult decision. Listen to what you're really saying to yourself inside.

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