Age and Pregnancy

Cynthia Flynn's picture
Experts: 

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
I turned 40 this past July and I am now seriously thinking of having a baby but I have some real concerns. Am I too old? Would I be putting a child at a high risk of mental impairments? Would deliverer be harder or riskier?

I had a scare that I was pregnant and the thought of it consumed me I was very disappointed that the test was negative. I just don't want to put a child at risk. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me.

Sincerely,
Cheriss

ANSWER

It is true that at this point your eggs are older than the ideal. That said, there is still a better than even chance that your child would be perfectly normal. If this really concerns you, you might consider obtaining a younger egg and using your husband's sperm, which would substantially decrease the chance of problems for the child.

How risky a pregnancy would be otherwise depends on your general health and your willingness to go the extra mile to stay healthy during the pregnancy. I have had many clients over 40 who have had successful pregnancies, both with their own eggs and with others', including a 49 year-old who delivered wonderful twins who are now happy, healthy 3 year-olds.

-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.