Here's How To Ease Your Pregnancy After 40
Being a parent starts with getting pregnant and it can be really awesome. Pregnancy however, at any age can come with challenges. If you're experiencing pregnancy after 40, these challenges do come with a higher risk. In spite of this, the number of women who get pregnant after 40 has risen in recent times.
The ideal thing is to end child bearing before one is 35 years of age. This is because a woman above 35 years has her fertility reduced via reduced eggs to fertilize. Some of her eggs may be unhealthy, or her ovaries may not release them properly or on time. There is also an increased chance of miscarriage associated with age. Add to that a higher chance of developing health issues that can adversely affect your fertility. Doctors usually look out for the following if you get pregnant after 40 or at an advanced age:
- high blood pressure
- pre eclampsia
- gestational diabetes
- birth defects
- low birth weight
- ectopic pregnancy
Technological advancement in medicine has been able to make pregnancy and giving birth at 40 a whole lot easier, even though it is still considered a high risk. Being Pregnant at 40 could increase the aches and pains you may experience, due to joints and bones that are already starting to lose mass with age. Pregnancy related fatigue may also become more pronounced as well and vaginal delivery is less likely after the age of 40. Delivery is more likely to be via a cesarean delivery, to ensure both mother and baby leave the delivery room safely. If the baby comes vaginally, it may be challenging due to the age, as the labour pains are more pronounced. There’s also an increased risk of stillbirth. A lot of women however have successfully been pregnant and had healthy babies at the age of 40.
Getting pregnant could take a while, regardless of age. If you have been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant naturally for over six (6) months and you are over 40 years old, you may want to consider seeing a fertility specialist. A fertility specialist will run series of tests to see if there are factors that are affecting your ability to get pregnant. These may include ultrasounds to look at your uterus and ovaries, or blood tests to check your ovarian reserve. If you are experiencing infertility, talk to your doctor about options, to help determine which one is right for you. Some of your options are:
- Fertility drugs, which will help with hormones that can assist with successful ovulation.
- Assisted reproductive technology (ART) which involves removing the eggs and fertilizing them in a lab and then inserting them back into the uterus. This may work for women with ovulation issues and it is most suitable for surrogates. There’s an estimated 11 percent success rate in women between ages 41 to 42. The most common type of ART known is IVF.
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI), also called Artificial Insemination, works by injecting sperm into the uterus. This may be your partners sperm, or you can get a sperm donate from a sperm bank. IUI may be particularly helpful if the male is infertile, has a weak or low sperm count or sexual dysfunction.
If you decide on either the fertility drug or the IVF route for getting pregnant due to infertility, be reminded that you would be at a higher risk of giving birth to twins or multiple births. This is due to the fact that the medications will increase the rate of ovulation and thus, there is a chance of more than one egg getting fertilized at the same time. Having twins or multiple births also increases the risk of giving birth to your babies prematurely instead of a virginal natural birth.
Getting pregnant at 40 can take longer for some women than others. Still, your fertility specialist will need to work with you to quickly determine your status. This is because your fertility rate reduces intensely in your 40s. If you’re unable to conceive naturally, you’ll want to consider whether you’re up for potentially multiple trials with fertility treatments and if you have the means to cover the treatments since they can be expensive.