Getting Pregnant After 40

pregnant after 40

Deciding to start a family is a deeply personal and major decision. But when the biological clock starts running faster, questions and concerns about conceiving after 40 naturally arise. Fear not, mamas-to-be! While fertility does decline with age, there is good news. Getting pregnant after 40 is absolutely possible, even naturally. And leveraging IVF treatment in women increases the chances of expanding the family.

However, pregnancy after 40 comes with its own set of challenges and considerations. Let’s look at these challenges and considerations you may be concerned about, allowing you to make informed decisions on your path to parenting.

Fertility Changes with Age

The ability to conceive naturally diminishes with age, particularly after the age of 30; it remains possible for women to get pregnant without any fertility treatments even after the age of 40.

However, the likelihood of conceiving naturally after age 40 significantly decreases compared to younger years. Fertility experts estimate that women over 40 have about a 5% chance of getting pregnant per menstrual cycle, in contrast to a 20% chance per cycle for women in their 20s. During these younger years, fertility is at its peak, offering the highest probability of not only becoming pregnant but also maintaining healthy pregnancies.

Let’s understand it with a table.

Age Chances of Pregnancy Per Cycle
Under 30 About a 20% chance per cycle
30-35 Around 15% chance per cycle
35-40 Roughly 10% chance per cycle
Over 40 5% or less chance per cycle


Why Do Pregnancy Chances Decline After 40?

In the previous section, we discussed that age changes your fertility game. But why does it happen?

Low Egg Reserve: From the moment a girl is born, her ovaries are filled with the maximum number of eggs she will ever possess, approximately one million. As time passes, this number decreases.

Consequently, by the time a girl reaches puberty, she has around 300,000 eggs left; this number declines to 100,000 by the age of 30, and by the age of 40, a woman may have only approximately 20,000 eggs left, and not all of them can develop into mature eggs needed for pregnancy.

An IVF specialist in Delhi can perform an ultrasound and do a blood test known as the Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) test to assess the quantity of eggs remaining. AMH is a hormone secreted by the ovarian follicles responsible for egg development. Low AMH levels reflect the diminishing reserve of eggs in her ovaries.

Chromosomal Abnormalities: With age, not only does the quantity of eggs decline, but the quality also leads to a higher risk of chromosomal abnormalities such as aneuploidy. This means the eggs may have an abnormal number of chromosomes, increasing the risk of conditions like Down syndrome. These conditions decrease the chances of getting pregnant at the age of 40 and increases the chances of miscarriages.


Now, the big concern: What if you get pregnant after age 40?

  • Increased Risk of Miscarriage: Due to chromosomal changes, the risk of miscarriage rises slightly with age. Early and comprehensive prenatal care is crucial.
  • Age-Related Health Factors: Conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and thyroid issues can become more common with age and require close monitoring during pregnancy.
  • Genetic Testing: There is a stronger recommendation for genetic testing due to the increased risk of chromosomal abnormalities. Tests like NIPT (Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing) or amniocentesis are often suggested to assess the baby’s health more accurately.

But don’t worry! You can still enjoy healthy pregnancies after 40 by taking a few steps:

  • Maintain an optimal BMI
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Monitor your cycle
  • Consider assisted reproductive technologies (ART) like intrauterine insemination (IUI) or IVF treatment in women


Age is just one factor. With knowledge, proactive planning, and the right support system, your dream of motherhood after 40 can become a reality. If you are looking for IVF treatment in women, consult Dr Rhythm Gupta, an infertility specialist in Delhi and start your journey towards parenthood.