Man & Woman Romantic Couple In GardenThe biological clock is ticking loudly for many women who have delayed childbearing. With so much emphasis on age-related infertility, it’s no wonder. The good news is that women are having babies after 35 and into their 40s, either with or without assisted reproductive technologies.

When it comes to conception, one of the factors most affected by a woman’s age is the ovulation of a healthy, mature egg. Sometimes this can be achieved with the woman’s own supply of eggs. Sometimes this requires the use of a donor egg and in vitro fertilization (IVF). Whatever the case, there are some facts you should know about fertility in your 40s.

  1. Women in their early 40s have a greater chance of conceiving with their own eggs. Some experts believe that women in their early 40s have as high as a 20 percent chance of getting pregnant with their own eggs naturally. However, those percentages fall rapidly each year to almost nothing by age 45. Starting as early as possible in your 40s greatly increases your chance of success.
  2. Egg quality is the most common challenge for women in their 40s. Women are born with all the eggs they will ever have. By the time they are 30, they only have 10 percent of their eggs left. By 40, that egg supply is nearly depleted in number, but it is also of a lower quality. Eggs are more likely to have chromosomal abnormalities as the egg supply dwindles. These are two common reasons women in their 40s tend to have problems conceiving and carrying a child to term.
  3. Men have fertility declines as well. Men produce sperm throughout their lives. This fact leads many people to believe they do not suffer from age-related infertility problems. This is not true; as men age, their sperm quality also declines. While it is not as drastic, it can affect the ability of a couple to get pregnant in their 40s.
  4. Healthy lifestyles are key for both partners, whether you are in fertility treatment or not. Because there are many age-related factors working against you in conceiving a child with your genetic material, having a healthy lifestyle is key to giving your body its best chance for success. Making better food choices, getting plenty of exercise and quitting any bad habits (like smoking and drinking excessively) are critical for couples in their 40s.
  5. Donor eggs give you the same rates of pregnancy as the age of the donor. Should the birth mother’s eggs not be a viable option for conception, a donor egg is a great option for many couples in their 40s. With the use of a donor egg, the rates of success change to match the age of the donor. In addition, the birth mother’s body is less stressed because there is no follicle stimulation, facilitating a better environment for implantation and early pregnancy.
  6. Fertility experts can help, so get help sooner rather than later. Even if you are just getting started on trying to conceive, see a fertility expert as soon as possible. Time is of the essence in your 40s, so maximizing your potential for success with the help of a fertility expert is a great idea.

Couples in their 40s are having healthy babies all the time, sometimes naturally and sometimes with the help of assisted reproductive technologies. The best news is that assisted reproductive technology is enjoying higher success rates than ever before, so many couples are able to achieve their family-building dreams in their 40s. Be sure you know the facts about age-related infertility so you can make the best decision for your journey to parenthood in your 40s.


“Getting Pregnant in your 40s.” Web. 15 December 2014.

“Pregnancy after 35.” Web. 15 December 2014.