When Should I Start Trying?

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
I just had a miscarriage. I was on my 7th week of pregnancy and I am 43 years old and my husband is 44 years old. This would be my first child and the first grandchild for my parents. So I guess you could say this is very special for me and my whole family.

My question is, "When should I start trying to get pregnant again"? "Do you think I should even try at my age"? "Is there anything I can do to better prepare"?

ANSWER

It is true that at your age, your eggs are "old," and the risk of miscarriage is much higher than it is at younger ages. If the body detects an anomaly, in many cases it will end the pregnancy in hopes of a better result next time. I usually tell my clients that once they have had a normal period, it is safe to try again. Best of luck!

P.S. If you do get to the point where you are considering adopting, you might consider just adopting an egg, so you have the experience of pregnancy and lactation -- both of which would be wonderful for the child(ren)!

-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.