Getting Pregnant When Older (Over 35, 40)


It is becoming more and more common for women to wait until they are older to try and get pregnant. It is important to know that as you become older, over the age of 35 or over the age of 40, your fertility and your chances of becoming pregnant decline. It is promising to know that women who are older can still have success in becoming pregnant.

The main reason for your decline in fertility as you become older is the smaller chance of ovulation you experience. Women who are over 35 and/or over the age of 40 will begin experiencing ovulation cycles where no eggs are released. Not only are there chances of not experiencing ovulation, the egg’s quality also decreases with the increase of age. There are supplements women can take to increase the quality of their eggs and ovarian function including these ingredients: myo-inositol, folic acid, and melatonin.

Trying to Get Pregnant when Older may Be Harder

Mature pregnant 40 years old woman

1. Endometriosis

This is when the tissue that lines your uterus grows outside of your uterus. The growths may attach to your ovaries or other organs and when you bleed during your menstrual cycle, it may cause lots of pain. It also affects your chances of becoming pregnant.

If this is the case for you, it may be recommended to have laparoscopic surgery, which removes the overdeveloped tissue. Sometimes this may not be an option if there is too much tissue.

2. Fibroid Tumors

Uterine fibroids

There is no real known cause of why women may develop fibroid tumors. Research and studies have been done and it is believed that estrogen may be linked to fibroid tumors in some way. Fibroid tumors seem to occur, develop, and grow if a woman is on birth control. Fibroid tumors seem to shrink and disappear when a woman hits menopause. These non-cancerous masses are usually painless and go undetected until your healthcare provider and you go looking.

3. Health Problems such as High Blood Pressure and/or Diabetes

If you are an older woman trying to get pregnant it can be more common to suffer from chronic health problems such as high blood pressure and/or diabetes. It is important for any woman over 35 or over 40 trying to conceive to strive a live a healthy lifestyle. If there are chronic conditions, it is important they have them under control with the assistance of their healthcare provider. Having chronic conditions can have an overall effect on getting pregnant when older.

[Read more about Diabetes]

If you are over 35 or over 40 and have made the decision to become pregnant, following some of these 6 steps may help increase your chances in becoming pregnant quicker:

Schedule an Appointment with Your Healthcare Provider

Aged woman seeing her healthcare provider
  • When you and your partner have made this decision, schedule an appointment to meet with your healthcare provider. This could be your OB/GYN, midwife, or family doctor. It is a great starting place to meet with your healthcare provider and discuss any health history that may cause issues with you becoming pregnant. It is a good idea to bring all these issues, or non-issues, to the table. Your healthcare provider will do an extensive exam including blood tests, check for sexually transmitted diseases, maybe some genetic testing, and if you are concerned about anything within your family health history. It is also a great time to start a good relationship with your healthcare provider now, because when you do become pregnant you will be seeing lots of this individual!

Quit Smoking

  • When you have decided you want to become pregnant, you will want to quit smoking immediately. Studies have shown that the longer and more tobacco used, the more your risk of infertility increases. Cigarettes are full of chemicals that you inhale and they go through your body. Cigarettes cause multiple issues and diseases, infertility is just one of the many. Get ahead of the game and start now, because you will for sure want to quit this habit when you become pregnant and when the baby arrives.

[Read more about Smoking]

Decrease alcohol

Pregnant woman says no to alcohol
  • There is no solid research that shows alcohol affects your ability to get pregnant, or that stopping your alcohol intake will increase your chances of fertility. A lot of healthcare providers recommend decreasing your alcohol intake or stopping all together. If you drink a lot, it can have an effect on your hormones, which can ultimately affect your fertility. If you want to get pregnant quickly, your best bet is to give it up all together.

Decrease Caffeine

  • Research for caffeine and fertility also does not have solid findings. There are studies that show it may increase chances of miscarriages, while other studies show it does not increase chances of miscarriages. Either way, if you want to do everything possible to become pregnant quickly, you can add this to your list of things to do. Remember, caffeine is also in chocolate!

[Read more about Caffeine]

Eat healthy!

  • You should always eat healthy, but if you are not the healthiest eater, now may be the time to start. Make sure you are eating plenty of fruits and vegetables (especially leafy greens such as spinach and kale), grains, lean proteins, and dairy. You will also want to avoid a few things also such as sugar, foods high in fat, fish high in mercury, and items with BPA.

Track your cycle

Finger pointing at a fertility temperature chart
  • Tracking your cycle should be something that every woman does whether they are trying to get pregnant or not. Let us get down to the basics. When you ovulate, an egg is released from your ovary and the egg is only viable for 12 to 24 hours. Sperm can last 48 to 72 hours after sex. Using those times frames, there is a very small window for you to get pregnant. Isn’t that crazy? This is such a short period of time and it seems like some women become pregnant so quickly and easily. After you know when you are ovulating, you will want to plan to have sex on your most fertile days. Your most fertile days are usually three days before you ovulate until the actual day you ovulate. When you have these days calculated, begin planning when you will have sex. Remember, sperm can last up to 48 hours to 72 hours after sex, so make sure you use those time frames when calculating.
  • To help determine this time frame, tracking when you ovulate is important. There are some fertility apps available such as Kinadra or Glow. These apps can be downloaded onto your phone, so you have easy access to record what is going on with your body.

[Read more about Fertility Apps]

It is possible for women who are older to get pregnant. Women over 35 or over 40 can become pregnant with help from their healthcare provider. Picking a healthcare provider you are comfortable with is important. Also, living a healthy lifestyle and staying active will increase your chances of becoming pregnant.


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