Is conceiving a child later in life have a chance of a healthy pregnancy?
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.
Conceiving a baby in late 40s
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:
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.
|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
It is interesting that the risk seems to decrease slightly at ages 48 and 49.
I would highly recommend doing some preconception care 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.