A Baby After 40? - Large

Whether or not to have a baby depends on many aspects of your life: your current household situation, the size of your family, your career plans, where you want your life to be in ten or 20 years, and many other factors.

But if you’re approaching or over 40, your age may trump all of those considerations in determining whether you will conceive and give birth.

For women over 40, it can be difficult just to get pregnant:

  • The number and quality of eggs (ovarian reserve) that you have decreases naturally and progressively from the time you’re born until menopause.
  • This decline is gradual until your early 30s but accelerates quickly after your mid-30s.
  • Fibroids, endometriosis, and tubal disease are more common as you age and can affect fertility.

Women over 40 also face more issues than their younger sisters with carrying a baby to term and with other complications:

Women often ask if it’s possible to slow down reproductive aging and, unfortunately, the answer is no.

Women often ask if it’s possible to slow down reproductive aging and, unfortunately, the answer is no. You are born with all the eggs you’re ever going to have. There are no methods or treatments to grow more eggs or preserve the quality of the eggs you have.

Making good nutrition, exercise, and stress-free and smoke-free living part of your routine, of course, improves your overall health and may have an impact on the quality of your eggs. Those healthy practices may also influence when menopause happens for you. But be aware that improved health does not change the natural decline in female fertility.

To understand your own fertility, talk with your health care provider early in order to plan for your future reproductive health. This is especially important if you’re delaying pregnancy until your late 30s or later.