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Avatar universal

Likelihood of Positive Outcome for Pregnancy after 45

I'm a 47 year old woman, and possibly pregnant.  I was not trying to become pregnant and am somewhat surprised.  I had planned to look into getting my tubes tied in January with my husband's new insurance.  I am very much aware of increased risks, chance of Down Syndrome, miscarriage, etc.  Most of the information I have read on pregnancy at my age is negative.  I also knew a mother who became pregnant at age 46 or 47, found out the child had Down Syndrome and aborted at 5 or 6 months.  The chances of naturally becoming pregnant are near zero, and there's a substantial chance of having a deformed, chromosomally abnormal fetus (with 2 heads or something weird), 90% of my eggs are now "damaged goods", etc.  I take good care of my health and am at a reasonable weight (140), plus women on my mother's side of the family go into menopause near age 60.  I've read these factors are a plus for my age.  

Where are the success stories?   I can't even find any statistics on the chances of naturally becoming pregnant at my age.  Is it really that rare?   The information out there makes me feel like some freak.   Can someone PLEASE give me  some encouraging news?
105 Responses
178239 tn?1277405491
I just turned 42 and am still trying for #1. I got pg last yr and mc on 1/3/07. They did testing on the fetus and he was perfectly normal. I mc due to strain and separation of the placenta, nothing age related. I have had all the tests run and dr says there is no reason I cannot deliver a healthy normal baby.

I know a lot depends on each woman. Have they run any tests?
I would like to share my comments, in order to encourage especially older women out there who are still trying to have a baby.  I got married late in life and became pregnant at 46 yrs old. Throughout my pregnancy the doctors did an ultra-sound at least every month just to make sure everything was o.k. with me and the baby.  In the last month before delivering, I had low blood count and took a liquid supplement called Floradix Iron and herbs which increase my iron level.  By the grace of God and with much prayer, although I had to have a C-section I had a healthy little baby boy inspite of experiencing fibroids all throughout my pregnancy.
Avatar universal
I will be 40 next month and am wondering the same question.  There is not way to know.  People do have healthy children at 47.  People are always telling me stories of how their grandmother had a baby at 48.  Pray and get tested.  I do think that you are rare but it does happen.  If your mother's family goes into menopause late then you probably have a higher and better ovarian reserve than most.  I would relax a little.  My mother and both of her sisters were done with menopause at age 45 so I was not surprised when I was told that I had poor ovarian reserve at age 39 (high fsh).  I imagine that I am close to being as worried as you.  With your family history I would guess that you have a better chance than most of being ok.   Good luck with your little blessing.
Avatar universal
My friend's mom got pg at 44-45, naturally. It is rare but not impossible. And her son is now a very healthy active 3-year-old!

Good luck!

370736 tn?1247242917
A friend of mine got pregnant at 45 (was not trying) and had her baby at 46. Her daughter is 1 now, beautiful and developmentally on track. It was her third child and she did say it was harder this time. She was horrified at first but she now considers it a blessing. Hang in there!
332747 tn?1198120117
My previous dr.'s mother had her at age 48.  She turned out perfectly normal.  Like you, her mother was completely taken by surprise by the pregnancy.  She wasn't ttc.  I think you can't rely so heavily on the statistics you read regarding age and pregnancy because every woman is so unique in terms of pregnancy, ovarian reserve and genetics.  I would have all the testing done to be sure your prog. levels and so on are good.  Please just realize what an incredible blessing you've been bestowed.
Avatar universal
Have you had your baby yet?  i'm 45 and think i'm pregnant. Its a huge surprise to me too.
Avatar universal
I'm 45 (46 in 5 months) and have just discovered I'm naturally pregnant! I'm in complete shock. What are the odds of this happening? This is my 3rd pregnancy, the first being at age 36 and the second at 39. I felt old then as a new mum! What tests are available to check all is well with baby?
Avatar universal
I am 8 weeks pregnant at 45; I'll be 46 when I deliver. I feel slightly like a freakshow. The doctor and nurses have all been positive; however, I an considered "high risk" because of age so extra ultrasounds have been scheduled in the first trimester--first one went well. I, too, read that it was near statistically impossible for me to get pregnant. I had a beautiful, healthy boy at 42--no problems as all though. I am worried and hope all goes well. Still, my husband and I have opted to tell no one (even our six other children, ages 2-25) until I make it to 2nd trimester. I had CVS testing with my last child and will again with this pregnancy.
Avatar universal
I'm 47 yrs old and my husband and I just found out I am pregnant. We have 4 children in their 20's between us and they are all thrilled and supportive.  The bigger surprise is that I am almost 6 mo. along.  I was having my menstual cycle until a couple of months ago, so I was unaware that I was pregnant.  Then, I thought I was experiencing menopause.  When I went to the Dr. a few weeks ago, we found out I was pregnant.  I am scheduled for thorough testing in a few weeks to find out if the baby is healthy....needless to say, I am concerned.  Everytime I read stats on pregnancy at my age, it scares me to death.  Another factor that scares me is that not knowing I was pregnant, I was taking medicine for anxiety, pain, etc....My Dr. is aware of all of that and has taken me off of the harmful ones to the baby.  But, taking it while I didn't know I was pregnant relly scares me.  Has anyone else experienced anything similar to my situation?
I'm on thyroid medication and I haven't had a period since February. I had all test done and I'm not premenopausal. I am 46 and one pregnancy test says positive and another says negative. I don't know what to do. My doctor wants to do another pregnancy test. My breast are very swore and they hurt like crazy and I'm so worried.
Avatar universal
I have enjoyed reading your stories and they have filled me with inspiration.
I am 46yrs old and my husband and I have just decided to give having another childa go!
My last child was born when I was 40 after trying for 9years!
I also have another 4 children from a previous marriage you could say we are greedy but we simply adore our little girl.
So I have just started a course of clomid, will keep you all posted,wish me luck,please.x
Avatar universal
I am 46 years and I finally decided to have at least a child but my FSH is 60.  I stopped using contraceptive about a year ago.  I am praying to have a child, and right now, I am feeling frustrated.
Avatar universal
how about pregnant at age 49?  hope I am not..had my tubes clipped and burnt 20 years ago,,only guaranteed for 10 years tho...not for sure, will be tested REAl soon tho...
Avatar universal
i am also 45 and feel that the chances that i am pregnant are high. i am scared to death. our health insurance is through me at my job and it is a  physically demanding job. no way i can keep working. and my husband is substantially older than me. and he told me at one time a few years back that he wouldn't want one. he feels that it would be too hard on him as the provider. of course, i feel he is being selfish. so instead of the warm feeling a woman may have about telling her spouse, i am not looking forward to it, if i am. abortion is not an option for me, so if i am i will have the child. with or without my husband. pray for me please, and i will for you as well. and good luck. post again and so will i to let each other know what the facts are. take care. kathy
Avatar universal
Sounds like you may need a friend....:)
We are in quite the opposite situation of you. I am 46, he is 50 and we have decided to try to have a baby. We have been together for 4 years, and we both have children (grown) for previous marriages. But we both really want to raise our own child together. We are both healthy...so hopefully it will all work out for us.
Please post back and let me know how things are going with you...:)
Avatar universal

I am 44 and am TTC.  I will be 45 in July.  This is my second month of TTC naturally.  My OH is 36 and if we get pregnant this will be a first child for both of us.  Any tips will be welcome.  

Good luck to all.

1272624 tn?1395434357
I am so happy I found this thread!  I am 44 will be 45 in june. I started a group TTC over 45. I know I'm not 45 yet, but I think at 44 our fertility is a little different from 40. I think maybe its a bit harder. I'm excited to hear about some of you pregnant over 40 something! It gives me hope. I just have to check, I know this thread has been around a few years, I wanted to check up on some of you!
SSBD to All of Us
Avatar universal
I'm 44 and will be 45 in June.  I just discovered I'm pregnant and I am freaked out.  Not only because this was completely unplanned (natural), but also because this will be my first baby and all the stats don;t seem great for my age.  This thread has given me hope too.  I will continue to pray on this.  For me it seems like it must be a blessing from God that I got pregnant at this age. I made peace with myself last year about not having children (and never trying to have) and now I'm pregnant!  I'm still stunned and don't know whether to cry or be happy and thank God. Maybe both is appropiate.
Avatar universal
Thank you all for this thread. Im 46, (will be 47 in 5 months) my husband is 47, I have four healthy children ages 24 - 4yrs old.  Im a month late, and Im concerned.  Im never late.  My mom is 63 and didnt even start menopause until she was 61.  Maybe its just stress, but if Im looking for it on the web, then well, you know.  Any way, thanks for this, at least I know Im not alone.  Heavy sigh...
Avatar universal
I had my first child, a son, at 25 and he has Downs (now 22). He's the love of my life. I also have twins (21) and a son now 15. I'm 47 and my BF is 38....also a twin. (never married, no kids)
I stopped the pill. I was tired of it and the doctor put me on a new one after decades on the old one. (sadly I suppose) I wouldn't mind having another child.
My chances of having another child with down's are greater just because I have one already- and b/c I'm 47. The chances of twins are higher as you get older- I have twins- and the BF is a twin.
Avatar universal
I am 45 & got pregnant with my first child unexpectedly 6 weeks ago.  Because of my health (high cholesterol, high blood pressure) and the fact that I've been on lipitor (a class X drug) for the past 8 years, I was advised (by a self-proclaimed pro life doctor) to terminate the pregnancy bc the risks to both myself & the fetus were too great.  This is the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but I am having a medical abortion this weekend. PLEASE before you think about how great it would be to have a baby over the age of 40, talk to your doctor about if it's even a possibility for you to have a healthy pregnancy.  Avoid the heartbreak.  Also, there are websites that support preg over age 40.  Just google & you can find it.  I wish you all luck!  
1272624 tn?1395434357
Is the risk because of the meds your on or your health? Good luck in your decision!
Avatar universal
It's combination of the meds (that cause severe birth defects),, my age, my pre-existing conditions (mostly high blood pressure), and that it's my first pregnancy.  
Avatar universal
As i sit here writing this i am about to turn 47, have been divorced for 5 years, in a relationship with another man for the past 4- now engaged, and have two wonderful kids from my first marriage.
I also found out i am pregnant. Something an OB/GYN told me was unlikely to happen in my 40s given my past difficulties.

It is a pregnancy i will be terminating for many reasons-ranging from health, high risk previous pregnancy, to finances.
It was an unintended pregnancy after years of believing that i couldn’t get pregnant. My last pregnancy was 12 years ago and ended in a pretty horrific miscarriage.

My first, and only biological child, i had at 26 years of age and my second was adopted when he was two (i was 38).
For years i tried to get pregnant with my second child to no avail.
Then at 35 i got pregnant as i was ready to face adoption.
I miscarried almost 12 weeks into my pregnancy. Actually the fetus died roughly 10 weeks in and my body wouldn’t naturally miscarry.

I was rushed to the ER for uncontrolled bleeding and had to be given general anesthesia so that they could perform a D&C to remove the dead fetus.

Two years after my miscarriage we brought home our beautiful son (2 years old) which we adopted from an orphanage. An adoption which most likely not had happened if i had given birth to my second child due to finances and the fact that we only wanted two kids. So, basically, i am glad things turned out the way they did.

Now that being said i made a choice a long time ago to not have kids beyond a certain age, namely 45.

Morally, emotionally, physically, financially etc i don’t believe having kids beyond 45 is a good idea. I never have.
I have seen mothers who had kids in their late 40′s and 50′s struggle and its difficult to watch.

1st–Some of the kids had differing disabilities. While this could happen at any age the chances are far greater in mothers who have given birth beyond the age of 45.

2nd–In many cases the moms were either “too tired”, too sick, too burned out etc to keep up with the baby, toddler, pre-schooler, young child.

3rd–The age in which MOST men and women begin to experience various age-related illnesses, conditions, disabilities is in late 40s and beyond.
So the likelyhood of developing a condition which will prevent you from successfully parenting a baby or young child is far greater in late 40s and beyond than it is in your 20′s and 30s.

4th–The financial stresses can be enormous. Good luck retiring at 65 if your child is barely 12 years old.
Children need financial support, and alot of it, even entering into their college years.
In todays economy–at least 40% of young adults between 18-27 are still living with their parents due to the inability to find work with decent enough wages to support themselves.

5th–I couldn’t imagine being 65-70 years old and too ill and too broke to be able to help out my young adult child (18-25 year old)-could you?
Most employers won’t hire a 70 year old no matter how *vibrant* they are. Health insurance costs for this age group is just too great.

6th–You will most likely never see your child get married and have children of their own or even be able to be a source of emotional, physical and economic support for them during this period in their lives.
Nowadays most young adults, for economic reasons, won’t marry until they are almost 30 or beyond.

My parents are in their late 60s with a slew of ailments as early as early 60s.
Ironically, they took good care of themselves and were physically active and it wasn’t until late 50s that diagnosis of heart disease, diabetes, anxiety disorder etc came into play.

If my mother had had a child in her late 40s or 50s I would be taking care of that child today (since my sister and brother are not in a position to do it) and my parents would deeply regret not being able to parent that child. Not to mention that child would most likely be saddened by not having had parents, in the typical sense, like other kids.
If that child had been an only–he/she would most likely be in foster care since my parents siblings are either dead or too old and sick to take care of a child.

The mentality that you are “very healthy and active” does not negate the fact that most disabling chronic conditions happen after the age of 45.

My brother had his last child at 40. Now he’s a 49 year old mess. He has had numerous heart scans and diagnosed with a heart condition. After 18 years of a successful career he has been laid off for two years and unable to find work with a wage that will allow him to support his three kids (this despite two masters degrees).
Before this my brother was a “vibrant” and “physically active” individual having served two tours in the military in his 20′s-30′s.
His wife decided that parenting isn’t for her since at the age of 48, and with back issues, she finds it too difficult taking care of 3 little ones so she enrolled in school as an excuse to not have to parent. Since my brother lives pretty far from any of us, and since his wife doesn’t want to move closer to family, he has
no help from family, he’s own his own when it comes to raising his kids.

Keep in mind that neither myself or my siblings ever expected to have any kids of physical or financial issues in our 40′s.
We are all responsible, physically active and healthy professionals people.

My point is that STUFF HAPPENS. Even though you could argue that stuff happens at any age it is far likelier that it will happen in 40′s and beyond.

Before you start considering having more children in your 40′s and 50s my advice is to please please reconsider.

If this is your first child then i pray that you have the financial, mental and emotional resources to effectively parent that child. Otherwise you will most likely be bringing a world of hurt to yourselves and your children.

One more thing–to compare yourself to women who had kids in their 40s back in the “good old days” of the 1940′s and 1950s etc is a big mistake.
Back then these women had the resources of extended families and the divorce and unemployment rate of their husbands was alot lower than it is today.
Back then a woman’s “career” was to raise children.
Back then the cost of living was far lower in so far that only one spouse needed to work outside of the home.
My grandmother had her last child at 46(unexpected pregnancy). She had a complicated childbirth and almost died. She was also bedridden for a while.
But what she also had was a huge family support who pitched in to take care of the other kids. She had grown kids who pitched in to take care of the baby and a husband who was gainfully employed in his own business and financially successful.
So even if his business had tanked they would have had enough money to take care of their kids. Not to mention there were plenty of jobs available for the grown kids and they were gainfully employe
Avatar universal
Hi! I'd love to post; and thank goodness you posted! Well, I have good news and not-so-good. I became pregnant (not "accidentally," but, w/in 1.5 mos. of the 1st time I never used birth control in my life) for 1st time @ age 46; (had misc); then again @ age 46, then @ 48, almost 49. Miscarr. all. B/c of my age no 1 took the miscarr. seriously - i.e., like, what could have caused them aside from my age -- and, after a discuss. w/a fertil. specialist yest. it appears that though I had tons of autoimmune tests I may not have had 1 crucial test. Also,I found out that I have a submucosal fibroid -- which prob. needs to be removed b/c can cause miscarr.
Talk about discouraging -- calling fertil. clinics @ my age hoping to use my own egg (preimplantation genetic screening can be used) is just so discouraging - in my city -- not exactly a rural burg and supposedly very progressive -- you get these stupid receptionists who cut you off and say "oh, we don't take anyone over 41 who wants to use their own egg" (and 50 for donor eggs) or whatever.
I'm 51. I was, of course, also getting this attitude when I was 46, 47 and calling.
So, I recommend you consult a really good perinatologist, and I bet you can carry to term. Good for you!  
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