I’m middle aged…can I have a baby?

Thinking about have a baby even though you are over 40?

They say that more women than ever over the age of 40 are having babies – more than 103,000 in 2004 – twice as many as in 1990, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

How does age affect a woman’s ability to have children?

About 20% of women in the United States now have their first child after age 35.  About one-third of couples in which the woman is older than 35 years have fertility problems. Of course  modern medicine can help.

The CDC gives us this advice.

Aging decreases a woman’s chances of having a baby in the following ways—

  • Her ovaries become less able to release eggs
  • She has a smaller number of eggs left
  • Her eggs are not as healthy
  • She is more likely to have health conditions that can cause fertility problems
  • She is more likely to have a miscarriage

How long should women try to get pregnant before calling their doctors?
Most experts suggest at least one year. Women aged 35 years or older should see their doctors after six months of trying. A woman’s chances of having a baby decrease rapidly every year after the age of 30.

Some health problems also increase the risk of infertility. So, women should talk to their doctors if they have—

  • Irregular periods or no menstrual periods
  • Very painful periods
  • Endometriosis
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • More than one miscarriage

Naturally, it’s a good idea for any woman to talk to a doctor before trying to get pregnant.  They can help with preventative advice and more.

Did you know that for a woman  fertility peaks between the ages of 22 to 26?
It also often declines after 30: a typical 30 year old woman has 12% of the ovarian reserve she was born with, and has only 3% at age 40 .

Of women trying to get pregnant, without using fertility drugs or in vitro fertilization:

  • At age 30, 75% will get pregnant within one year, and 91% within four years.
  • At age 35, 66% will get pregnant within one year, and 84% within four years.
  • At age 40, 44% will get pregnant within one year, and 64% within four years.[13]

For the guys, sperm count declines with age. Men aged 50–80 years producing sperm at an average rate of 75% compared with men aged 20–50 years. An even larger difference is seen in how many of the seminiferous tubules in the testes contain mature sperm;

  • In males 20–39 years old, 90% of the seminiferous tubules contain mature sperm.
  • In males 40–69 years old, 50% of the seminiferous tubules contain mature sperm.
  • In males 80 years old and older, 10% of the seminiferous tubules contain mature sperm.[18]

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