Becoming a mother is not an easy decision and it is accompanied by a radical change in a woman’s life. Whether alone or as a couple, the desire to have children should be carefully considered. Career, education, financial situation and free time can be reasons to postpone having children for the time being. Nowadays it is actually quite common to postpone motherhood until the 40s. But when a woman reaches that age, she might question: Is it still possible to become a mother after 40?
The number of women who want to start their pregnancy journey over the age of 40 is growing every year. It should not be forgotten, that there are risks at this age that can lead to complications during a pregnancy. But in this article we would also like to highlight the advantages of late motherhood.
Risks of becoming a mother after 40
It is important for women at this age to be aware of the risks that may arise for both mother and baby.
- Difficulties that frequently occur during pregnancy at such an age include: stress, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, premature birth or premature rupture of the membrane.
- Low Ovarian Reserve: The quality and quantity of eggs decrease as we age. Additionally, the older the woman trying to conceive is, the higher the risks of chromosomal alterations in the baby. Assisted reproduction can increase the chances of achieving a pregnancy with a healthy baby, either through embryo selection or through treatments such as egg donation.
- An increased probability of suffering a miscarriage is another risk that women may face after the age of 40.
It is important to be more cautious and to regularly undergo medical examination. According to clinical data provided by the Spanish National Statistics Institute (INE), more than 51% of women between 40 and 44 may suffer a miscarriage. From this age on the risk of miscarriage rises to 93%.
Dr. Estefanía Rodríguez from our IVF-Donostia clinic states that “35-40% of women that come to our clinic for a consultation are over the age of 40”.
In our fertility clinic IVF-Spain in Madrid, we receive more women every year that wish to become pregnant after 40 and resort to our assisted reproduction treatments.
What are the chances of becoming pregnant after 40?
As we have already mentioned above, it is essential that women who wish to become pregnant after the age of 40 have knowledge about their ovarian reserve and other hormonal profiles in order to achieve a successful pregnancy.
The success rate of a pregnancy with own eggs after the age of 40 is only between 5 and 15%. Women who opt for egg donation, on the other hand, have an 80% chance of achieving a pregnancy. Egg donation makes it possible to limit genetic problems associated with age and chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome.
Fertility test and diagnosis for women in their 40s
The first step before starting a fertility treatment is to determine the fertility of the patient that wants to become a mother after 40. Be it with a partner or alone. For this reason, a blood test and a transvaginal ultrasound are performed.
These examinations are carried out to analyse the levels of the Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) in the blood, which, together with the antral follicle count (ultrasound), will show us the amount of oocytes that are available in a certain month and with this determine the woman’s ovarian reserve.
- Antral follicles: The still immature ovarian follicles, where the oocytes grow and mature, are filled with fluid. This fluid is what we recognise as the antral follicles.
- AMH: The Anti-Müllerian hormone has a fundamental predictive value for fertility treatments, as it estimates how the ovaries will respond.
Through these tests, the ovarian reserve can be determined, and the steps to follow during a fertility treatment can be established through the information from these two tests and other parameters such as the quality of the semen.
Becoming a mother after 40 – Which fertility treatments are available?
Our fertility specialists will personalise the appropriate treatment for each case depending on the results of the ovarian reserve and the quality of the sperm (either from the partner or from a donor).
The best option for women who want to become a mother after 40 but have a low ovarian reserve may be treatments such as egg donation or embryo adoption. The difference between both techniques is that for embryo adoption hormonal stimulation is not necessary and therefore the cost of treatment is considerably lower.
Both of these treatments have high success rates, but which one is best for each individual case is decided by our specialists based on the various fertility tests. In addition, there are a number of advanced techniques used in the laboratory to guarantee pregnancy.
Special techniques for the transfer of the best embryo
As a twin pregnancy can lead to complications such as premature birth or delayed uterine growth in women with advanced age, at IVF Madrid we guarantee the transfer of a single embryo, counting on our advanced technology and great team of specialists.
At our fertility clinic, embryo selection according to genetic criteria uses the most advanced techniques of pre-implantation genetic analysis, currently known as PGT-A (Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidy).
We manage to significantly increase the success of implantation, reducing genetically caused miscarriages and thus increasing the rate of healthy births through embryo selection using PGT-A.
Through the development of treatments carefully adapted to the patients and the use of newest fertility techniques, such as our advanced embryo selection process and time-lapse technology, we have managed to differentiate ourselves and specialise in more complex cases. This is the reason why at IVF Madrid we can guarantee the success of becoming at mother after 40.
Advantages of becoming a mother after 40
The maturity with which important decisions are faced is one of the biggest advantages of late motherhood. This maturity allows to be fully prepared and have well thought through plans of the future.
Doubts, insecurities or indecisions of your younger self have also vanished and you can be well prepared emotionally for becoming a mother.
Another advantage of pregnancy after 40 is the financial and professional security women have reached, being able to provide their baby everything it needs.
At IVF Spain we know that there are many advantages of becoming a mother at a later age and this is why we want to support you in this decision of becoming a mother after 40. If you would like to consult your individual case, please contact us using the following form.