Your odds of getting pregnant decrease significantly in your 40s, but there’s still hope with PGS or donor eggs
As you get older, your odds of conceiving successfully decrease. Women who are 40 have less than a 5% chance of getting pregnant each month. For women between 45 and 49, that number drops to less than 1%.
However, getting pregnant isn’t impossible in your 40s. Some women will be able to get pregnant on their own, while others might require help from a board certified reproductive endocrinologist, like San Antonio fertility doctors Erika Munch MD or Susan Hudson MD.
Living a healthy lifestyle and managing stress can help with fertility in your 40s
Living a healthy lifestyle to boost fertility is a recurring theme in all age groups. In your 40s, you should still focus on maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise. You should also quit smoking cigarettes. Women who smoke tend to enter menopause 2-3 years earlier than non-smoking women. Caucasian women who smoke may enter menopause as much as nine years earlier, according to one study.*
It’s also important to manage your stress levels to boost fertility in your 40s. Life can be stressful, especially when you have the added pressure of trying to conceive. However, stress can make it difficult to get pregnant at any age when it affects the regularity of your menstrual cycle. To boost fertility in your 40s, you should limit alcohol and caffeine consumption, get plenty of sleep, and relieve stress with exercise or even meditation if necessary.
Seek help from a fertility doctor if you’re struggling with fertility in your 40s
When you’re trying to get pregnant in your 40s, time is a precious resource. Fertility doctors recommend seeking help if you’re unable to get pregnant after six months. San Antonio fertility doctors Erika Munch MD and Susan Hudson MD, recommend basic fertility testing before trying to conceive in your 40s.
Drs. Munch and Hudson offer many fertility treatments to help women with fertility in their 40s
Depending on the quality of your eggs, Dr. Munch and Dr. Hudson might suggest treatments like intrauterine insemination, IUI, or in vitro fertilization, IVF; however, the success rate for these treatments decreases with age.
They may also suggest fertility treatments involving donor eggs.
While some women over 40 may get pregnant using their own eggs, donor eggs offer the highest chance for achieving a successful pregnancy. Even in your early 30s, more than half of a woman’s eggs are chromosomally abnormal. This percentage increases rapidly, such that over 90% of eggs in 40 year old women are abnormal. This leads both to a significant decrease in fertility and a significant increase in the risk of miscarriage.
Interestingly, however, age does not appear to negatively impact the uterus. Donor eggs are therefore often a good option for women in their 40s who have difficulty getting pregnant, yet are perfectly able to carry a pregnancy.
In conjunction with San Antonio IVF, we can also employ preimplantation genetic screening, PGS, to test embryos prior to transfer in an IVF cycle. This procedure allows us to test embryos and determine whether they are chromosomally normal or chromosomally abnormal. Knowing which embryos have normal chromosomes will greatly enhance your chances for getting pregnant and circumventing the risks associated with advanced maternal age.
Women in their 40s may also have older partners who may well have age-related problems with their sperm as well. Testing the quality and quantity of sperm is essential, and Dr. Munch and Dr. Hudson will likely order a semen analysis, in addition to ovarian reserve testing of the female partner, early in the fertility testing process.
Becoming a mother is one of life’s greatest joys, and Dr. Munch and Dr. Hudson will enlist the power of reproductive medicine to help you achieve your goal. Contact our San Antonio fertility center to optimize or restore fertility in your 40s.