Having a baby after 40 is not an abnormal thing anymore. With nutritional and medical advances there are many benefits to getting pregnant later in life. Not only will you likely have a better financial backing for your child but you may also be settled in to better housing and midlife. The time may be right to have a baby for the first time. Here are the benefits and risks of having a child in your 40s.
Medicine and medical science are on your side for having a baby. Not only can you do things nutritionally to help get pregnant but your doctor can prescribe fertility drugs that help regulate hormone levels to increase your chances of fertility. You won’t have to worry about getting such drugs until after you’ve tried getting pregnant for a year without success.
If your treatment progresses to the point where you need invitro fertilization, you can have a genetic screening done on your eggs to determine risks for passing on any defects to your baby. Doctors can also carefully monitor your progress towards normal ovulation if you have any menstrual cycles that are off common to women over 40.
As you get older, the risks for a miscarriage increase. Pregnancy Today talks about how women are 26 percent more likely to have a miscarriage over the age of 40 when you attempt to carry a baby to term. Gestational diabetes and hypertension are also more likely in the mother when you get to this age.
Down syndrome is always a concern for parents carrying a baby over the age of 40. The risk of a baby with Down syndrome specifically is one in 69 for women at age 40 compared to one chance in 250 if you are only age 35. When you turn 45 the chances increase dramatically to one in every 19 children born with Down syndrome, more than a five percent chance. There are other genetic aberrations that can form due to the advanced age of the DNA in the eggs that causes more damage over time.
Many doctors suggest that the longer you wait to get pregnant or have the possibility of invitro fertilization, the worse your chances become. While waiting is a personal choice there are many factors involved in your chances of getting pregnant. Physical shape, diet and nutrition, and family history all can contribute to your chances of carrying a child over age 40.
The best thing you can do is discuss your pregnancy options with your doctor if you are trying to get pregnant and you are over 40. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered actual medical advice.