While the risks are increased, I have seen many woman go on to have healthy babies in their forties. Look at Hale Barry, Jennifer Lopez is near 40, the list goes on not to mention women I have personally known. If you're truly nervous about it, the decision is up to you. It has been done and will continue to be done. Besides, think of all the medical advances we have now. Did you have any trouble with your previous pregnancies? While older now, you can pretty much assume a new pregnancy will follow the same scenario as your others. Good luck to you, I know this is a tough decision.
I thought I would add that my sister had a baby at 40 about 14 months ago. It was actually an unplanned pregnancy - no trying or anything. The baby's healthy and doing fine. I'm 44 and pregnant (31w4d) but my ttc journey wasn't as smooth as hers - LOL. I ended up doing ivf w/donor eggs which worked out wonderfully. I've noticed, btw, that doctors are much less optimistic about women having babies in their 40's - they're so quick to point out the negative w/out balancing it with any positives. I hope this helps!
I'm almost 45 and also pregnant from IVF and donor egg. To put my mind at ease, I had EKG, stress test, echocardiogram and pulmonary function testing before IVF. I'm a worrier and I have two young children. Everything checked out fine so my Doctor said it was safe. Maybe you could have some testing to put your mind at ease. Good Luck.
I am now 40, have been TTC for 2 1/2 years (unfortunately 3 miscarriages thus far). My chances of another miscarriage are still about 30% (but still 70% chance of success!).
One of the main problems in your 40s is egg quality. That is the probable reason for my miscarriages, I am healthy and got pregnant pretty easily. If you are healthy, and pregnancy is viable, there is little chance you will have major problems, although there is a higher chance you may develop things like gestational diabetes. And you have a higher risk for Down's syndrome, but its still about a 1/100 chance for a 40 year old.
If you are prepared for a potential miscarriage, possible difficulty in conceiving and/or using your own eggs, then go ahead. I know many women around 40 who had no problems whatsoever, conceived naturally and had perfectly healthy children. That's why I still see some hope for me and others our age. Its good that your Dr is pointing out the risks, but he may also be needlessly scaring you out of trying.
I am 43 and pregnant with the help of IVF. I had great success with egg production and retreival. The dr. said the eggs (19 of them!) were in excellent condition. I think you should go for it!
I'm 40 and it's really funny actually. My husband and I prayed and prayed about whether to have a 3rd because I had a life-threatening complication in my last pregnancy (I was 33 at the time). After much thought and consideration we decided to, but given that I was 39 at the time we thought for sure it would take a while. I was already on the fence age-wise and not knowing if we were making a stupid decision not just pregnancy and baby-wise, but lifestyle wise. Heck, I'd be "ancient" when my kids went to college and who knows if I'd ever meet my great-grandkids...
Well, we decided in late June that I'd have my IUD removed and if we decided not to have more kids then he'd get fixed. July wasn't a "timing" month and we just planned on being happy if it happened, or didn't happen but I was still very honestly on the fence about it and had my cycle start on 8.13.07.
And that was my last menstrual cycle and I am now 29 weeks along. I'm honestly overwhelmed and go through periods of total elation and excitement and period of thinking, "WHAT IN THE H*** DID WE DO???? I'M 40!!!" But everyone tells me that the 3rd is so joyous and that I won't feel so "old" when the little guy shows up.
We moved from Calif. to Atlanta in July (double whammy stress-wise) but my Ca. doctor was SO encouraging. He says they don't start blinking an eye until after ~43. Here it seems different...lots of judgment and skepticism. I have gotten to where I don't even like telling someone my age because I get the "Oh. You're pregnant?!? How old are you? That must have been a surprise or a mistake."
Aside from that and with regard to risks, I just decided we all have risks. Period. Having a greater CHANCE of a risk doesn't mean that you will EXPERIENCE that risk...And I had a life-threatening pregnancy risk and a child with developmental delays at 33 (he's fine now). So while age can indeed dicate some things, it can not dictate all things.
It's a personal choice and one that you will vascilate on even when you're pregnant!