View Full Version : Is conceiving a child later in life have a chance of a healthy pregnancy?

8th February 2012, 07:34 PM
Hi Mum Jane! :) I am a new member of this website and had just post in your introduction thread. As I said I am a single woman in my late 40"s but in the planning stage of conceiving a child. From what I had read and learned from friends, late pregnancy is hard and had some disadvantages and not safe at all.

As a registered midwife, I know that you had all the knowledge about this and I do believe that you could help me in giving me the courage and the best advice for me not to worry and to be relax in my aspiration of having a child at this age in my life.

I am glad that you can give me your most concern in my initial inquiries to you.

Warm regards,


9th February 2012, 12:21 PM
Hi Amy,

I will let Jane know that your question is awaiting her response. Sometimes she's not able to respond right away if she's at a birth, but she will respond.

I have answered your questions in the "irregular periods (http://www.pregnancy.com.au/forums/showthread.php?255-How-to-conceive-if-you-have-an-irregular-periods&highlight=irregular+cycles)" thread. So be sure to take a look at that and watch the videos there.

You may also want to take a look at the "infertility tips (http://www.pregnancy.com.au/forums/showthread.php?238-Any-infertility-tips)" thread. Jane made some helpful suggestions there. Though you don't know if you have an infertility challenge because you haven't started trying to conceive, I'd encourage you to rule it out immediately. You're in your late 40's and your fiance smokes and drinks, so those things right there could very well pose a challenge for you. Have your doctor do some tests to see what your hormone levels are. You can do this before you get married.

Warm regards,


10th February 2012, 09:05 AM
Hi Amy - Welcome to the forum. The most difficult problem you will face is actually being able to conceive a baby. At around age 45 you chance of conceiving a baby is around 5 percent and success declines as each year passes. The reason for this is that the number of eggs you have begin to decline as early as 15 years before menopause.

Not only do the number of eggs decline - their quality also declines so if you do conceive the chances of the egg having structural problems (problems with the chromosomes) increases. This in turn increases the risk of miscarriage and birth defects.

The chance of conceiving a baby with Downs Syndrome is:


Risk of Downs Syndrome

1 in 84

1 in 69

1 in 52

1 in 37

1 in 38

1 in 32

1 in 31

1 in 25

1 in 62

1 in 86

Source: Morris JK, Mutton DE and Alberman E (2002) Revised estimates of maternal age specific live birth prevalence of Down syndrome. Journal of Medical Screening. 9, 2-6.

It is interesting that the risk seems to decrease slightly at ages 48 and 49.

I would highly recommend doing some preconception care (http://www.pregnancy.com.au/resources/topics-of-interest/preconception/planning-for-pregnancy-preconception-care.shtml) to increase your chances of a successful pregnancy. Health issue such as diabetes and high blood pressure increase as we get older - so getting healthy helps decrease any potential problems.

Good luck.

13th February 2012, 06:05 PM
Hello Mum Jane,

Thank you for the interesting informations and I learned something new. Yes I know that it is not easy at my age to conceive. But I know that I had live a healthy lifestyle and had a big fiath in the Lord that He will give me a blessing I am longing for which is to have a child.

Can you give me some pre conception care that may be my additional guide from what I already know.

Warm Regards;)

13th February 2012, 06:27 PM
Hello Mam Kate!;)

I had watched the videos that you posted. It is very interesting and helpful to me.

By the way is it true that women had different hormonal levels in their bodies? And the kind of hormones they had has something to do with how they will conceive a child. I had read something about it and I need some additional information about this.

I will be glad to hear from you again.

Thank a lot!;)

14th February 2012, 07:55 AM
Hi Amy,

Here's a page with some preconception care (http://www.pregnancy.com.au/resources/topics-of-interest/preconception/planning-for-pregnancy-preconception-care.shtml) guidelines that Jane wrote. Be sure to read that page and start applying what you learn.

As for hormones... we all have hormones in our bodies that play different roles. In order for conception to occur, your reproductive hormones must be balanced. I would encourage you to have your doctor order a reproductive hormone panel for you (which are blood tests) so that you will know if your hormone levels indicate fertility (the ability to conceive). If one or more hormones are out of balance, your doctor will be able to share some options on what you need to do in order to have a child.

Some of the hormones that will be checked are TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone), FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone), LH (Luteinizing Hormone), Estrogen, Prolactin, Progesterone and sometimes Androgens.

The FSH test will be ordered on the 3rd day of your cycle (the 3rd day of bleeding) and Estradiol may be ordered on this day also. FSH will indicate how many and what quality of eggs you have left.

Most (if not all) doctors will suggest that a woman in her late 40's would need to do IVF and most likely with an egg donor. This might be suggested for you for two reasons.

1. You have irregular periods which could be an indication of peri-menopause.
2. The quality of eggs in a woman who is in her late 40's is usually very low which means that even if they put the egg and sperm together and then implanted the embryo in your body, there's an exceptionally high rate that a miscarriage would occur, often times before you were even able to get a positive pregnancy test.

So for a woman who is in good health, IVF with an egg donor option would probably be what most doctors would recommend.

There are things you can do to increase your chances of conceiving naturally, and that's where the preconception care comes into play, but truly, the fact that your eggs are nearly 50 years old is going to be your biggest challenge.

It sounds like your longing for a child is very, very strong. Have you considered adopting a newborn? My mom had a hard time conceiving me, so she and my dad decided to adopt. The day they called her to tell her they had a baby for her was the day she found out she was pregnant with me.

Experiencing motherhood is a precious gift from God and I truly hope you are able to experience it soon.

Warm regards,


18th February 2012, 12:34 AM
Hello Mum Kate[:)]

Good day! Thank you for the pre conception care guidelines that you posted here. I really learned a lot from it. Actually I had a regular period at my age late 40's that si why I firmly believe that I can still conceive with the blessing from God. However it had not come across my mind to adopt a newborn because for me my own child is still the best for me to have.

By the why what is an IVF? Can you explain further why it is recommended for women who are in their late 40's to have this. May I ask also what is a hCG blood test for pregnant woman? Is it really accurate than a Urine test for pregnancy? Can you give me more gudielines about these pregnancy tests?

Well I am hoping to hear from you again.

Have a nice weekend![:)]


18th February 2012, 04:58 AM
Hi Amy,

Please post back the dates of your last 3 cycles (the first day you started bleeding in the past 3 cycles). Also let me know if you start bleeding with red blood or if you have any brown blood before the red blood.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is when a doctor takes an egg and puts it in a petri dish. Then the doctor adds a semen sample (which has sperm in it) in hopes that one of the sperm will fertilize the egg. Once fertilization occurs, the doctor will watch the embryo to see if there is any fragmentation. If the embryo is a high enough quality, they will then place it in the woman's body in hopes that it will implant in the uterus and the pregnancy will continue. Often times more than one embryo will be put back in the mother's body in hopes that at least one of them will result in a viable pregnancy. Unfortunately the embryos which were not of high enough quality are discarded, which means that a human life ends. For those who believe that life begins at conception (as I do), this then becomes a moral decision.

Doctors often recommend the IVF or ICSI procedure, using a donor egg (an egg from a younger woman) because the egg from the younger woman is typically higher quality and gives a better chance of conception and continued pregnancy. Below you will find two videos, explaining IVF and ICSI in more detail.


ICSI (Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection) is where a single sperm is injected directly into the egg (as compared to many sperm trying to enter the egg on their own). With ICSI, doctors are able to select the highest quality sperm to inject into the egg, and an embryo is formed during every procedure.

Here's a video that shows the ICSI procedure in more detail:


18th February 2012, 05:08 AM
Hi Amy,

Regarding your question about an hCG blood test for pregnancy... There are some highly sensitive hCG urine pregnancy tests on the market which are nearly as sensitive as the blood tests performed by labs. You can always ask your doctor for a blood test if you think you're pregnant, but most women prefer to use a home pregnancy test before they call their doctor.

An early pregnancy test (http://www.birthbabyandmom.com/early-pregnancy-test.html) can give an accurate reading as early as a week after conception.

I'm going to post a link to some helpful videos on preconception care because the more you can do in that area now, the better chance you'll have of conceiving naturally when you're ready to try.

Warm regards,


19th February 2012, 11:47 AM
Gabriela Rosa periodically offers some free videos which teach you some good information on boosting your fertility. It's called the 14 Days to Optimum Fertility Challenge (http://naturalfertilitybreakthrough.com/challenge/).

This program is not available all the time, but you can sign up for her waiting list if it's currently not available. As of this posting it may still be available or they may have just finished the challenge. I'm not sure.

This is a great program for anyone who is thinking about getting pregnant.

Warm regards,


24th February 2012, 05:45 PM
Hello Mum Kate!

Good day!:) I am very thankful that you always had something to share to my inquiries. Did you know that every thread you posted here is a new learning for me and it lessened my worriness of conceiving a child at this later age in life. With all the informations you had given since I started to joined the forum are all stored in my brain and it will be very useful as I go on to this journey of becoming a mother.

I had a new question which I am concerned also with regards to becoming pregnant. Since late last year I am drinking a milk that is suited for women planning for pregnancy so that I cam meet the folate requirements before conception. Is it just right that I am doing that preparation to pregnancy?

Your information again will be highly appreciated.

Thank you


24th February 2012, 05:49 PM
Mum Kate!

May I add another question, My last period is December 15, 201 but I dont have my period up to now. Then last January had experienced minimal dizziness, but this February there is no more. What do you think?

Thanks Again


25th February 2012, 10:46 AM
Hi Amy,

I will respond to your posts tomorrow. Just wanted to let you know I saw them and will be in touch.

Warm regards,


25th February 2012, 11:02 PM
Hello Mum Kate!

Thank you and I will be waiting for your posts. Share more threads about early pregnancy symptoms and the development of fetus for the first trimester. So that I am aware if I am already on the way to it.

If possible I need some videos in order for me to have more ideas about being pregnant. Do you think that I should have an hCG blood test already to know if I am pregnant?

Will be glad to hear from you again..

Thanks a lot!


27th February 2012, 06:22 AM
Hi Amy,

You may want to take a pregnancy test just to have some peace of mind one way or the other. If you typically don't have regular cycles, then it becomes really hard to know whether you're pregnant or not simply by symptoms.

Here's an article that shares some of the most common symptoms of pregnancy (http://www.pregnancy.com.au/pregnancy-information/early-pregnancy/symptoms-of-pregnancy.shtml).
And here's a good thread in the forums where many moms have shared their early signs of pregnancy (http://www.pregnancy.com.au/forums/showthread.php?149-Early-Signs-of-Pregnancy).

Early pregnancy signs are related to hormonal changes, and irregular periods are also related to hormones. I'd suggest that you take a home pregnancy test just to help you know whether you're pregnant or not. If you are, then you can proceed in that direction (scheduling your first visit with your midwife (http://www.pregnancy.com.au/about/services/Preconception_Care/index.shtml) or doctor, etc.). If you're not pregnant, then you can really work to balance your hormones and determine what it is that is causing the irregular cycles. Once you know what's causing the irregular cycles, then you can pinpoint which areas you need to really focus on in order to regulate your cycles as quickly as possible... and of course, preconception care (http://www.pregnancy.com.au/resources/topics-of-interest/preconception/planning-for-pregnancy-preconception-care.shtml) is super important to be doing right now, whether you are pregnant or note.

As for your question about drinking a formula milk in order to get the folate you need for preconception and pregnancy...

Many leading naturopathic physicians suggest avoiding milk products (especially cow milk products) while trying to conceive. I suggest that women who are trying to conceive avoid cow milk products simply because of the "bad" mucus it creates in the body (not talking about the good, fertile, cervical mucus which has nothing to do with eating dairy products). Having a little yoghurt or goat cheese or sheep cheese once a week would likely be okay. The yoghurt is cultured which means it's easier to digest and it offers some good pro-biotics for the body.

To optimize your fertility, you'll want to consider switching to a diet which is milk free, wheat free, and gluten free. This should also help with regulating your cycles... or, if you're pregnant, will boost your chances of having a full term pregnancy.

It is important for you to be getting enough folate each date, so you may want to consider taking a high quality prenatal supplement which has the recommended amount of folate for pregnancy. If you're even thinking about getting pregnant in the next 6 months, talk to your midwife or doctor and see if they will recommend or even prescribe a high quality prenatal vitamin/supplement.

And, of course, some of the best foods which are high in folate are green leafy vegetables, liver and asparagus.

Another critical nutrient that you want to be sure you're getting is enough Essential Fatty Acids. You can get these through a high quality supplement and/or by eating foods high in EFAs. Here are some articles that talk about what to eat during pregnancy (http://www.pregnancy.com.au/pregnancy-information/what-to-eat-in-pregnancy/index.shtml).

Hope this helps, and feel free to post back any other questions.

Warm regards,


29th November 2012, 12:50 AM
Hello Mam Kate!

Hope you still remember me.

Can I ask help? I take a Beta HCG (ECLIA) blood test yesterday. Can you interpret this?

Reference Range............0 to 5 IU/L

Within Range Result........1.430 IU/L

Outside of Reference Range..... -

What does it means?

I will be waiting for your reply...

Warm Regards


29th November 2012, 08:32 AM
Hello Amy,

It's good to hear from you again.

The way I interpret this result is that the test showed a result of 1.430, which is between 1 and 2 (please correct me if I'm wrong) If that number should have read 1,430 (in the thousands) then that's indication of pregnancy. If it truly is 1.4, and the reference range is between 0 and 5, then it just shows that you have a very small amount of hCG in your blood. Some women always have a small amount of hCG in their blood - others only have a small amount of hCG in their blood if they are in their first week of pregnancy or if they have had a miscarriage.

I'm curious as to why you took the blood test. Did you take a home pregnancy test first, and was it positive? Was your period later than normal? Were you feeling pregnant?

If you can give a little more background information it will help me put more pieces of the puzzle together so that I can give you a more definitive answers.

Warm Regards,


29th November 2012, 02:25 PM
Hello Mam Kate as I told you before my last period is December 15, 2012. Then when my husband came home last August 18 up to October 14, 2012 almost everyday we make love because we still long for a child. Although now I don;t have a regular period I know I ovulate month of August. September and October. I know when I have cervical mucus and wet.

Month of October I feel different. I always had cramping and tighteneing in my abdomen up to now and sometimes slight dizzy and that is the reason last November I had a home pregnancy test and it shows a faint line. So i began to be curious and last November 27 I decided to go a hospital to have a blood test for Hcg.

Then that shows the result..

The Reference Range is in IU/L.........................0 to 5 IU/L

The Within Range result is.................................1.430 IU/L (between 1 and 2)

What do you think I am pregnant?.... Does it means that if there is a presence of hcg in my blood within the reference range a woman is pregnant?... I read that some women who had a low hcg in their blood had a normal pregnancy.

I am praying that I am pregnant. I had a personal doctor whom I always trust but she is abroad right now because her mother died. I had no one to ask for help regarding these inquiries.

Hope you will reply the soonest

Warm regards


29th November 2012, 03:21 PM
Hello Amy,

From what I can gather, your last period was Decmeber of 2011 (nearly a year ago) and you think you may have ovulated in August, September and October.

I am assuming your blood pregnancy test was on November 27th, just yesterday.

If you had ovulated in August, you would not have ovulated in September or October without having a period.

So let's assume that you ovulated in October, and the last day you had sex was October 14th, the last day that your husband was home. I'm going to assume that you ovulated 5 days later, giving you a possible conception date of October 19 (this is the latest you could possibly have conceived if the last time you had sex was on October 14th).

If you conceived on October 19th, then your hCG level would have been around 20 on November 3rd (at the latest). You say you had your blood hCG test on November 27th and the result was only 1.43 (under 2). This is good indication that there is not a viable pregnancy. Were you possibly pregnant when you got the faint line? Yes, it's possible. Are you currently pregnant? The numbers indicate most probably not.

If you want to know more, you can ask to have a progesterone test taken, which will give you another indication of whether you are pregnant or not, but with an hCG level of less than 2, it's nearly impossible to sustain a pregnancy.

Maybe it will help you better understand how hCG is produced and why it is present during pregnancy.

hCG is produced in larger quantities (detectable with a home pregnancy test) from 6 to 12 days after conception, when the embryo implants in the uterus. Before implantation, very little hCG is present.

Once the embryo implants, the hCG is produced to tell the corpus leuteum to produce progesterone so that the pregnancy can continue, and the woman won't get her period (the lining of the uterus is not sluffed along with the growing baby). The corpus leuteum is formed from the follicle that released the egg and is located in the ovary.

Once the placenta is large enough, it takes over progesterone production in larger amounts, to sustain pregnancy.

Once implantation occurs, hCG levels double every 2 to 3 days. So let's say baby implants on day 8. By day 10, hCG levels will usually be able to be detected by a home pregnancy test. The most sensitive home pregnancy test I've found registers hCG at 10 mIU/ml though most are not that sensitive and will register a positive reading at 20 to 25 mIU/ml.

Considering that 20 mIU/ml is actually a low reading (a reading that most women pick up around 9 to 11 days post conception) you can see how low a quantitative test of 1.430 is. It's actually such a small amount that some women who are not pregnant will have just that much in their body all the time.

It truly is hard to know whether you were pregnant or not. If you had a very faint line on a home pregnancy test, and then the blood test showed a reading under 2, it is possible that you may have conceived but something was wrong with the embryo or your body didn't produce enough progesterone to carry it. There are many reasons for very early miscarriage and miscarriage rates are extremely high in women who are in their late 40's like you are.

I hope this makes sense to you. I know how you must feel because for a year I tried to get pregnant and I couldn't. It's heart breaking.

Have you thought at all about adopting? I have a friend in the Philippines who is in her 40's and they recently adopted a baby. She loves that baby and is very happy now that she has a child. I also have a friend who is in her 40's and she just had her 6th miscarriage. I also have a friend in her late 20's who got a positive pregnancy test and then tested a few days later and it was negative. She started her period a couple of days late, so all indications that conception occurred but she had a very early miscarriage. And I have a friend who is in her 30's and is 3 months pregnant with her 2nd child. She had a miscarriage before having her first baby.

I just wanted to share that so that you understand that miscarriages are common, especially in the 40's. Continue to eat well as this can increase the quality of your eggs, but also realize that if you go a year without a period and you're in your late 40's, that you may be entering menopause.

Oh - I just thought of something. I'm 49 years old and my last period was in February. Last month I thought I was going through menopause because I simply didn't expect to get another period. Then I started doing lots of juicing with fresh fruits and vegetables and after 4 to 6 weeks of doing that, my body had a period, and it was a good period - a good color of red blood, very little brown blood (just brown initially for a couple of hours) a good flow for 5 days. I hadn't had a good period like that for a couple of years.

I know that if I continued to do the juicing that I most likely would have another period 28 or so days later. You may want to invest in a good juicer and really focus on getting 3 heads of green leafy vegetables into your body every day, along with other fruits and vegetables. There's an excellent documentary called "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead" which shows the incredible health benefits of juicing. I hope you can watch it sometime. It is very inspiring. If you can't find it, at least you can take a look at some of the tips from the producer on how to do the juicing. You can see them on his youtube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/FatSickandNearlyDead).

Here's the trailer for the film - it will give you a little insight as to how juicing can improve your health (think fertility and egg quality).


Please let me know if you have any questions or need any further help.

Warm Regards,


29th November 2012, 04:13 PM
Hello Mam Kate,

With all your informations I think I should take already a visit to my trusted doctor when she came back.

The reason why I began to be curious is that month of October i begun to have cramping and tightening of my abdomen up to now, felt slight dizzy sometimes and like now I measure my belly it is 31 inches considering I am a thin and short woman. Before it is not like this.

If you will rea all my previous post I followed all your advice before my husband came. I take essential fats amino acids in the form of fishoil food supplements, olive oil, foilc acid, dont drink coffee, soda milk only pure water. I also eat healthy fruits vegetables and lean meats only.

In as much as still hoping to conceive, I did all of these things. That is why maybe I ovulate even If I dont have a period.

If I will follow the juicing, can you give me what are the fruits and vegetables you put in your juicer. Kindly share it to me. I will do all just to have a baby. I know there are menopause baby. And nothing is impossible if you have faitgh in God and I believe in the blessings of God.

And one thing, the laboratory that test my hcg in my blood uses........IU/L and not mIU/ml..... I know they are have different interpretations. Can you explain further.

I really need more insights.

Warm Regards


29th November 2012, 04:16 PM
Also I had read many articles that there is a possible pregnancy during menopause until you dont have a period of one year. And that women in menopausal year do ovulate also. So there is a chance.

What can you share regarding this.

I hope I am not bothering you with all my inquiries.

Warm regards


29th November 2012, 04:20 PM
And you also said before that all women have different body characteristics. Others have low hcg during pregnancy while others do have.

29th November 2012, 04:23 PM
The reading of 1.43 is IU/L and not in mIU/ml... they have different interpretation. Please explain further

29th November 2012, 04:25 PM
what is the equivalent of 20 mIU/ml....... in IU/L for me to know where it is between the refernece range of 1 to 5 IU/L?

29th November 2012, 06:37 PM
Mam Kate... I convert the result of 1.43 IU/L which is in liter to millimeters...

1.43 multiply by 1000 my per liter is 1430 (one thousand four hundred thirty) milliliters or 1430 mIU?ml..

Correct me if I am wrong...

because the hcg result you are explaining is in ml... while the laboratory test that I toook uses liter...

Hope I can get an accurate result.

Warm regards


30th November 2012, 07:50 AM
Hi Amy,

I apologize for the confusion. You are correct in that the test was done in International Units per Liter (IU/L) and I was speaking in milli-international units per milliliter (mIU/ml). However,

Milli-internation units to milliliter is equal to international units to liter. They are an equal, 1 to 1 conversion.

Does that make sense to you?

Warm Regards,


19th December 2012, 08:03 AM
Hi Amy,

I'm just checking in to see how you're doing and to see what your doctor said when she returned from her trip.

Warm Regards,