Trying to Get Pregnant at 40

Cynthia Flynn's picture
Experts: 

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
I've been trying to get pregnant for around seven months now and I'm still not pregnant. We have had unprotected sex every other day. My period was 3 weeks late last month. When it started, it lasted only three days.

I've taken a pregnancy test and it said I'm not pregnant, but I've had breast tenderness and really bad sickness most of the time, especially first thing in the morning. Is there a chance I could be pregnant as I've still got some breast tenderness and I'm feeling sick. Over the past six months I've been stressed but I'm not feeling stressed now. Things have calmed down.

I'm 40 and my partner is 24. Will that make a difference with our chances? We did conceived once last year but lost it due to our families stressing me. Please could you help and give me advice. We both want this so much. Thanks.

ANSWER

You don't mention whether you have had other successful pregnancies, but I am assuming from what you write that you have not. To be honest, the chance of miscarriage or a "chemical" pregnancy at age 40 is very high.

If you have been trying for over six months, we recommend that you consult a fertility specialist if you really want to conceive. They will run tests to see if your hormones can still support a pregnancy, as you may need some help in that department.

It doesn't sound like you are thinking of adoption, but if you can afford it, and your health is good, then "adopting an egg" may be your best option, as the egg will come from a woman in her 20's, which means there is a better chance it would work. That way, the baby could have your partner's sperm, but you could have the experience of pregnancy and breastfeeding, and you both could parent. Just something to consider, but again, you would need to make that decision quickly, as the chance of in vitro working decreases with age also.

Good luck!
~Cynthia