Assessing Fertility and Issues with older women

Trying to get pregnant over the age of 40 is generally not easy. One of the main concerns is whether or not women have enough healthy eggs at this age. Women carry a reserve of eggs throughout their life, but studies show that this reserve diminishes considerably over time.

A recommended test is the ‘Anti-Mullerian Hormone’ (AMH) test, which measures the levels of AMH in the woman’s blood. It can be tested at any stage throughout the month and can give women a good indication of the odds they are up against. Getting pregnant over 40 requires significant mental and emotional strength, but it also requires physical strength.

There are many things you can do which will increase your chances of conception.

Your Physical Condition
– Our bodies decline as we age, there is no denying that! Making sure your body is in good condition before carrying a baby is really important. You should be exercising between 3 and 5 times a week for at least 20 minutes. This is a great way to get your body in shape before conceiving so get out and get moving!

Your Diet – Take a good prenatal vitamin containing folic acid. Eat fresh fruit and vegetables and all the essentials. Don’t worry too much about fats, some are essential, remember everything in moderation!

Flexibility – Ultimate flexibility is required for carrying a baby. This is often forgotten. Stretch often and take up a hobby like yoga. Your body will thank you!

Avoid Illnesses – Wash your hands often, stay healthy and perhaps get a STI test if you have any worries or queries regarding sexual diseases.

Not only is your physical condition important while conceiving over the age of 40 but your emotional condition and getting your head in the game is just as vital. All pregnancies carry risks, however these risks increase as you get older. Being mentally prepared for these is crucial.

There are 3 major risks you should be aware of before deciding to try for a baby over the age of 40. These risks include :

Miscarriage – The risk for miscarriage is about 10% for women in their 20’s, 20% for women in their 30’s and 35% for women between the ages of 40-45.

Preeclampsia- This is high blood pressure during pregnancy, it has unknown causes but the risk of it increases over the age of 40.

Genetic Disorders – There are many tests you can undergo to gather information about the health of your unborn child.

Tests are available in the first three months of pregnancy and they are very reliable. They can tell you if your baby had trisomy 21 or other chromosomal abnormalities.

Learn as much as you can. Some women are not as prepared as they may think, it is important to visit your doctor and to understand statistics and odds, so being mentally prepared is a must. Establish a close support system, it is so important to have someone there to understand and be supportive and listen.


Author Rita Galimberti Femplus Clinic

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