Planning to become pregnant in your 40’s? It’s not uncommon! Putting off pregnancy until later in life seems to be a common decision for many women as they wait to have children after they’ve established their career.
If this is also your decision, you should be aware that your body’s reproductive function has been slowing down for some time now.
Dr Abirami Thevakumar from Specialist Clinics of Australia in Sydney cautions that it may become more difficult to become pregnant after the age of 40 as there’s a decline in fertility once a woman reached the age of 40. “This is due to decline in the quality of the eggs. Also, people develop medical problems as they mature and this also can be a reason for decline in fertility,” explains Dr Thevakumar.
Changes in your body after 40
By the time you reach 40, your body’s reproductive function has been slowing down for some time now.
According to general statistics, if you plan to conceive, this is a moment to hurry up as from 45 years old on, you enter a phase of serious problems with fertility and it might be next to impossible to become pregnant using your own eggs.
Being aware of the natural course of your body will help you understand your fertility better. But before you get pregnant, you must be aware of the reasons that are causing your infertility…
How do I figure out the reason for my infertility?
The investigation for the cause of your infertility starts with a gynaecologist making a record of your health history to see if there are any other causes for the infertility. Basic medical exams concerned with conception include:
- A blood test to determine the quality of eggs. This exam is necessary to establish the reserves of eggs that you still have. If your egg reserves are low, then this would be the probable cause of infertility.
- Another test is designed to check the patency of your fallopian tubes. It’s necessary to determine if they are blocked; this might be another cause for infertility.
- Ultrasound pelvic exam, to ensure that your organs are healthy.
- We also need to test your partner’s semen to establish if the fertility issue lies with the potency of the sperm..
The above tests are basic proceedings when a woman comes to our clinic with fertility problems. “However, there’s a whole range of other blood test available,” explains Dr Thevakumar. “Choosing the appropriate tests depends on the symptoms that a woman may have. Perhaps there’s an issue with the thyroid or anemia. These things need to be established before we choose the best course of action.”
When should I become concerned with my fertility?
From the age of 35 onwards, if after 6 months of trying to become pregnant you still haven’t managed to conceive, then it is recommended to see a gynaecologist.
In women over 40 years old the 4-6 months interval of failing to become pregnant should be a clear sign that further investigation is needed in order to establish the source of the problem.
Becoming pregnant can be a challenge at any point in your life but it can be especially frustrating if you pass the 40’s threshold. However, Dr Thevakumar says that it is important to keep in mind that every woman is different and, although similar, our bodies work differently too.
When you decide that you want to have a baby it is best to do it under the watchful eye of a doctor no matter what age you are.