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Getting pregnant at 40 years and older



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Top tips for those with a desire to have a baby If you have postponed a pregnancy for professional or partnership reasons, or just because you were not ready, then you may now vehemently tick your inner biological clock. There is no denying that your chances of getting pregnant are now much lower than a few years ago. Experts say that it is almost impossible to get pregnant with the body's own eggs after the age of 45 years.

Many women over 40 are pregnant. Some undergo hormone treatment, others do not. Recent studies have shown that it can be beneficial for you and your child to simply wait until you naturally get pregnant.

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Probably the biggest advantage of having childbirth is that you took your time. They had time to develop and see the world; you are probably financially secure and your career is secure. If you've been living with your partner for some time, then you had the chance to get to know each other in different situations and circumstances, and that's a solid foundation for a family.

There is evidence that older mothers (who are generally more educated than young mothers) make more meaningful decisions about parenting. Older mothers tend to breastfeed and, according to a new study, eat healthier food.

To wait with the blessing of children also has financial benefits. According to a research study, women working full-time in Germany save about 20,000 euros per year - simply by postponing childbearing.

"Women who initially gain more work experience before having children return to work more quickly after maternity leave. Because they feel very connected to their employer, it is easier for them to get a part-time job than to turn their backs on the job market, "said one of the authors of the study.

Susan Heitler, a family and marriage therapist, believes that the best time to have children is between the late 20s and early 30s, but she also sees benefits in the couples waiting with them: "Parents around 40 are concentrating much more on their children than younger parents. They had time to travel and had a lot of experiences together before they had children. They have less financial pressure and have no problem missing a party because they've been celebrating enough parties. "

Nicole, a mother of five and a sales promotion director in a large hotel, says she has less energy than she did when she was 41, but on the other hand, she's a much wiser and more patient mother. "When you're 20 or 30, you're always under pressure as a parent," she recalls. "You always believe that everything has to be perfect, for example, if you do not have time to buy a present before a birthday, then you let yourself go As a mature mother, things like that do not make me feel that way anymore. "

In practical terms this means: "If you are a single parent by the age of 20 and then late for work, it can cost you your job. And that may mean that you can not pay the rent anymore, "says Nicole," but now I am moving in an area where I am virtually non-terminable and have financial security, so I do not have to worry about such things anymore and therefore I am much more relaxed. "

Contraindications
The main disadvantage of postponing a pregnancy beyond the age of 40 has already been mentioned: the longer you wait, the harder it is to get pregnant. This is because about 15 years before a woman enters menopause, the number of oocytes begins to decrease. And the mature ova often have chromosomal defects that can cause risks such as miscarriage and congenital health problems.

There is a big difference between the viability of oocytes in a woman in her early 40s and those of a woman in her mid to late 40s. "By age five, the odds of getting pregnant are falling year by year," says Julia Johnson, a professor of gynecology and women Obstetrics. "The chances of getting pregnant at age 41 are much better than at age 43."

A study in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility reinforces this argument. Researchers found that 40-year-old women treated for infertility could become pregnant with their own eggs at a 25 percent chance. At the age of 43, this figure dropped to 10 percent and at 44, it had dropped to 1.6 percent. Of the women who became pregnant, the rate of miscarriage was 24 percent for the 40-year-olds, 38 percent for the 43-year-olds and 54 percent for the 44-year-olds.

Hormone specialist James Goldfarb reports that in 30 years of his work, he has not seen a woman over the age of 46 who became pregnant with her own eggs. "It's like a lottery ticket," he says, "Someone always wins, but you should not rely on being the winner yourself." You do not take this statement as an opportunity to stop contraception at the age of 46 if you do not want to get pregnant! That should wait for you for sure are that you do not ovulate anymore.

Complications during pregnancy are another cause for concern. From the age of 40, problems such as hypertension and diabetes, as well as complications with the placenta or during childbirth, can occur more frequently during pregnancy. Women over 40 are at increased risk of having a low birth weight or premature birth.

The number of stillbirths is also higher and studies show that children of older mothers are at an increased risk of suffering from Type 1 diabetes or high blood pressure.

Think of your partner as well - his age can affect his fertility. Although men are physically able to conceive children at age 60 or 70, the quality of sperm decreases with age, and there is a higher rate of genetic defects than younger men. Clinical tests in recent years have shown an association between the age of the father and genetic disorders such as Down syndrome or schizophrenia.

All of these disadvantages can be daunting, but do not forget that some women around the age of 40 are quite pregnant - and there are many examples of where that worked. Many women have pregnancies without any complications and give birth to healthy babies.

Older mothers may be at higher risk for pregnancy complications, but on the whole the risk is still rather low. Especially if you use the good prenatal care in Germany.

Another caveat: even if there are financial benefits to waiting to have children, there may be other obligations. "Just to mention one thing: you'll have to work longer if you have children later," says financial planner Marnie Azner.

"You will have financial obligations when many of your friends retire already. If you have not put any money aside for your private retirement, it becomes even more difficult if you have children. In addition, the cost of living and health insurance contributions are also rising. And if you're struggling to get pregnant, the cost of hormone treatment will be added. "

Your chances of success
Nearly two-thirds of women over 40 have fertility problems. The clock is ticking mercilessly once you're over 40. Their chances of getting pregnant within a menstrual cycle are 5 percent, according to Sherman Silber, a leading fertility specialist (and author of four fertility bestsellers, including "Finally Pregnant").

At age 40, your chances of conceiving within one year are 40 to 50 percent. By comparison, a woman in her mid-30s has a 75 percent chance. At the age of 43 years, the chance of getting pregnant falls to one to two percent.

Why is the probability decreasing so fast from this point on? Silver says it's all about the ova. From the time you enter puberty and there are approximately 300,000 eggs in your body, approximately 13,000 oocytes are lost per year. Over the years, the ever-decreasing oocyte populations mean that at the age of 37, you still have around 25,000 eggs available.

And at 37, there's a pretty steep drop in your fertility. "At the age of 43, your ovum population is nearly used up and your chances of getting pregnant are relatively low," says Silber.

The miscarriage rate also skyrockets in the fifth decade of life. Between the ages of 40 and 44, the rate of miscarriage is 34 percent, rising to 53 percent for women aged 45 and over (compared to 10 percent at the age of 20 and 12 percent at the age of 30). For women over 40, the risk of pregnancy complications such as high blood pressure and diabetes is twice as high as that of women in their 20s.

The likelihood of genetic defects also increases with age: at 40, there is a 1 in 110 chance of conceiving a child with Down's Syndrome; at age 45, it is 1 in 30. Physicians at this age recommend screening for women such as amniocentesis or chorion biopsy; because the probability of genetic defects is increasing in this age group.

Pretermiers over the age of 40 also have a caesarean section with a 43 percent chance of survival (compared to 14 percent in first-time mothers in their 20s), but some experts believe that this is partly due to physicians calling older mothers "pregnant" during pregnancy and childbirth. Even if the pregnancy is normal, the number of low-birthweight babies and stillbirths increases at this age.

Another plus for you: Throughout human history, it has never been so cheap as it is now with a wide range of novel hormone treatments to get pregnant as an older mother. While the success rate of in vitro fertilization (IVF) older than 35 tends to decrease, the ability to use donor oocytes remains consistently successful with a live birth rate of approximately 28 percent.

For women in their 40s who donate donor egg cells to women between the ages of 20 and 30, there is a risk of miscarriage or chromosomal problems according to the age of the egg donor.

Read more:

  • Getting pregnant with 20 to 29 years
  • Getting pregnant with 30 to 39 years

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This article was written using the following sources:

Crittenden, Ann: "The Price of Motherhood: Why the Most Important Job in the World is Still the Least Valued," 2nd verb. Edition, New York, 2002

Tremblay, R.E., Nagin, D.S., Seguin, J.R., Zoccolillo M., Zelazi, P.D., Boivin, M., Perusse, D. & Japel, C. (2004): "Physical aggression during early childhood: tracectories and predictors." Pediatrics, 114 (1), E43-50.

Laucht, M., Esser, G. & Schmidt, M.H. (200a): "Longitudinal research on the developmental epidemiology of mental disorders: goal setting, conception and central findings of the Mannheim children's risk study." Journal of Clinical Psychology and Pszotherapy, 29 (4), 246-262.

Carcio, Helen A .: "Management of the Infertile Woman", New York, 1998.

Klipstein, S., Regan, M., Ryley, DA, Goldman, MB, Alper, MM, Reindollar RH: "One last chance for pregnancy: a review of 2,705 in vitro fertilization cycles initiated in women age 40 years and above", in Fertility and Sterility, August 2005, 84 (2), 435-445.

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