Getting Pregnant After 40

Mature couples typically have concerns about their fertility status, and some may experience conception delays. Older men and women are vulnerable to a decline in the quality of their sperm cells and eggs. Also, medical conditions such as diabetes may reduce the chances of conceiving quickly.

However, couples older than 40 can still achieve their dream of building a family with the right fertility treatment approach.

In this article, you’ll learn more about pregnancy after 40 years and the fertility treatment options available for older couples.

Steps to Building a Family After 40 

Women older than 40 can still achieve their dreams of starting or expanding their family size if they follow expert guidance and specific steps. Here are certain recommendations that can aid females above 40 years in building their families.

Go for a Fertility Evaluation

A smiling mid adult female doctor listens as a female patient discusses her health.

A fertility evaluation is a medical process that involves the combination of medical history, physical examination, and diagnostic fertility testing to determine your fertility health status. A fertility doctor uses the insights from a fertility evaluation to identify any possible causes of infertility and your unique health needs. Women above 40 years require fertility evaluation to discover the most suitable reproductive treatment approach to achieve conception early.


Medications may be used to help older women conceive by promoting ovarian stimulation and encouraging the body to release more than one egg at a time.  These medications mimic the effect of the female reproductive hormones on the ovulation process. Clomiphene citrate is an example of a common fertility medication doctors typically use in fertility clinics to trigger the ovulation of one or more eggs.

Clomiphene citrate hinders the inhibitory effects of serum estrogen in the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. Consequently, the pituitary gland continues to secrete gonadotropin hormones responsible for ovulation. As we age, many of the eggs we ovulate are chromosomally abnormal, so if we can ovulate more than one egg, there is a higher chance of ovulating a healthy normal egg in the cohort. This is one of the more conservative approaches that can be taken. 

Fertility Treatments and Assisted Reproductive Technologies

The fertility expert will typically recommend the most appropriate treatment plan based on the findings from a fertility evaluation. Due to hormonal and functional changes in women over 40 years of age, assisted reproductive technology is the fertility treatment of choice in most cases.

Assisted reproductive technology (ART) is a form of fertility treatment in which a fertility specialist manipulates eggs and sperm cells for fertilization purposes in a controlled laboratory environment to aid conception. Here are some assisted reproduction methods for women older than 40.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

In vitro fertilization is an assisted reproductive procedure that involves manipulating an egg and sperm in a controlled environment in the laboratory to achieve conception. After successful fertilization, the doctor transfers the resulting embryo into the uterus for implantation. The success rate of IVF in women over 40 differs and depends on various factors. It may require more than one IVF cycle to accumulate the embryos required for success.

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is an alternative method of assisting fertilization outside the human body. It involves the injection of a single sperm directly into each egg in the laboratory to aid fertilization. This is the preferred method of insemination to overcome severe male factor infertility.

Donor Egg IVF

Donor eggs can be utilized to create embryos and increase the chance of success in older patients. Embryos can be created using either a partner’s sperm or a donor’s sperm. The resulting embryos would then be transferred into the patient for them to carry the pregnancy. 

The CDC report estimates that the average success rate of live births using donor egg IVF procedure is 50%. Fertility treatment with assisted reproductive technology has put smiles on the faces of many couples. ART procedures offer you the option of using either your eggs with a gestational carrier or donor eggs.

Gestational surrogacy

gestational carrier carrying pregnancy for older than average mom after 40

Gestational surrogacy entails utilizing an individual to carry and give birth to a baby for the intended parent(s). The person carrying the pregnancy is called a gestational surrogate or gestational carrier and is not the baby’s biological parent. The gestational surrogate only carries a pregnancy from an embryo(s) that was created using the intended parent’s donated sperm and egg.

The success rate for gestational surrogacy varies for each person and if the egg used was from the person or from an egg donor.

Lifestyle Changes to Improve Fertility: Diet, Exercise, and Other Strategies

Obesity, lifestyle, and unhealthy habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol can potentially impact female reproductive hormones that control ovulation. Therefore, getting medical and professional help is crucial to maintaining a healthy weight and managing behaviors that can affect your chances of conceiving.

A woman’s age is one of the determinants of fertility after 40 years. As women get older, several factors affect their chances of conceiving. Hormonal changes in most older females typically affect ovulation timing and regularity. Also, females above 40 years are more likely to have reduced quality and quantity of eggs.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the number of eggs in females drops from 25,000 at age 37 to 1,000 at age 51.

Also, the risk of medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, which can affect pregnancy, increases with age.

Apart from age, the following factors can affect fertility in women older than 40 years:

Hope and Help for Women Pursuing Pregnancy After 40

woman with newborn after pregnancy after 40

Contact ORM fertility to meet with a reproductive specialist. Schedule your consultation today and start your path to parenthood. With careful testing and treatment, pregnancy after 40 can be a reality.

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