Some people say it is practically impossible for a women to conceive using her own eggs, once she is on the other side of 45. Natural pregnancies do happen after 45, but the chances are quite slim. What can you do to increase your odds of conceiving?
How likely are you to conceive in your late forties?
What exactly are your odds of conceiving once you are 45 or older? Modern reproductive technology ensures the answer to this question is not simple at all. Women can get pregnant in their fifties and beyond these days, and they do without great difficulty. That is, as long as you are willing to use an egg donor. In the future, women will also be able to get pregnant with their own frozen eggs more easily. This technology is increasingly common as scientists figure out how to keep frozen eggs stable for long periods of time, much like they already do with sperm and embryos.
Women who don't have access to donor eggs, or who do not feel comfortable using donated egg cells, have lower odds of getting pregnant. If you look at the IVF success rates for your age in different fertility clinics, you will see that your odds drop dramatically. IVF success rates for women using their own eggs who are "over 42" are less than 10 percent, pretty consistently. Your chances of conceiving naturally are even lower than they would be with IVF, but that doesn't mean getting pregnant is impossible. Indeed, you could try to increase your chances of conceiving in the exact same way every other women who would like to have a baby conceives.
You increase your odds of getting pregnant by living a healthy life. Obviously, you should not smoke or drink, and you should eat as healthily as possible. Your partner should do the same. In addition, using a reliable ovulation-monitoring method such as ovulation tests will help you determine if and when you ovulate. Women in their late forties are fast approaching the menopause. This means that you will have more anovulatory (non-ovulating) cycles than you did before. You are likely to still ovulate, but not during every cycle. That is where ovulation tests really do come in handy.
Surrogacy and adoption are two other options you may like to explore. They do obviously do not involve "getting pregnant", but do represent roads to motherhood that have created many families. Both adoption and surrogacy can involve complicated and sometimes messy legal procedures, as well as a big financial investment. Yet, these options can also bring a lot of joy and may just be right for your family.
Why being a 45+ mom is great
Reading about becoming pregnant in your mid- to late forties can be a frustrating exercise. Indeed, you may encounter quite a lot of judgment from various people, and for varying reasons. There are certainly cons to becoming an older mom, not least the fact that you will have a harder time getting pregnant or having children in another way in the first place. Yet, there are also a lot of benefits. At 45+, most people have a very good idea of who they are.
They are also likely to be either in stable relationships or comfortable on their own. At 45+, you have a good chance of being settled within your career and financially stable. With your life experience, you will be able to offer your children perspectives younger moms can't. You may be more patient as well, though that is no guarantee :). Maybe you will even be able to afford to do part-time work, if you already own your home and are not paying off a mortgage any more. Or, you will be able to offer your kids a better education. Everyone comes to parenthood at a different point in life, and there is no doubt that it is the most interesting ride of a lifetime, no matter how old you are when you get on and start your adventure. Have you become a mom after 45? We'd love to hear your story! Please feel free to leave a comment.