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Having a Baby Over 40 - My Research Statistics

Updated on December 16, 2017
Butterfly67 profile image

I started trying to conceive in my early 40s. After a miscarriage (and endless research) I finally had my baby at age 46.

Where do the Pregnancy Stats Come From Anyway?

So I have been reading lots of articles about the chances of getting pregnant over 40. There are lots of articles stating what the statistics are regarding the chances of getting pregnant around that age online.

Some of the things I have read - particularly forum posts - give lots of details of women who have got pregnant over the age of 40, but most of the news articles I read have seriously depressing statistics about the chances of getting pregnant particularly at my age of 43, and it all gets adds up to pretty depressing reading.

But my thoughts have always been how do they do the research on numbers and changes of getting pregnant anyway? Where do these statistics come from?

Surely they don't register everyone who goes into their doctors and says they want to get pregnant and then see if they do? And even if they do, I'm sure a huge number of women would not go to their doctors if they wanted to have a baby, they would just start trying.

And then what about those who just get pregnant by mistake?! So my thought are that if it is about the people who do go to the doctors then are those people more likely to think they have some sort of issue or problem that might stop them and that is why they go to the doctor in the first place? And hence they might be the women less likely to conceive anyway.

Analysis of My Facebook Friends

So I thought to myself that I seemed to know quite a few women who had had babies over 40 - and for most of those women this was their first baby.

I also know a couple of women who had had 2 babies over 40 so to me my facebook friends seemed to have bucked the stats.

So I decided that I would look through all of my female facebook friends and do an analysis of them and these are the results::

Women under 40 - 47

Women over 40 who did not have a baby in their 40's - 48
(however, this stat might be misleading as a significant number of them already have children so their family may already be complete and they probably weren't likely to be trying for another baby.)

Women who had a baby over the age of 40 - 8

So that makes the percentage of my female friends over 40 who have had a baby at around 14%. Now that statistic is probably better than any of the ones that I have read from the doctors. And of course it does not take into account that I would estimate that the majority of the rest of them were not even trying! Let's say that 50% of them were trying (very unlikely to be honest) then that still means a percentage success rate of 25% which is a pretty good result I would say.

I reckon I have a 25% to 50% chance of getting pregnant according to the stats of my facebook friends.
I reckon I have a 25% to 50% chance of getting pregnant according to the stats of my facebook friends.

What Can We Take From This?

Well in my mind I think I have to go with what I know is reality - a minimum figure of 25% of those who were trying were able to have at least one baby over 40. But the more likely figure is over 50% I would say as I struggle to find 8 women in my facebook friends who are over 40 and likely to be trying.

Maybe it is just my group of friends but I think they are a reasonable set of statistics so I will take heart from that.

I think that we are all too often led to believe, not only by the press but also by some doctors, that it is impossible to get pregnant once you reach 40. OK there are people who will struggle but it really looks like the odds are not stacked against us as much as we might think.

Post Script

So after writing this article I did actually manage to get pregnant at the age of 44. Unfortunately I had a miscarriage (and this seems to be very common in your 40s) but the fact was I did manage to conceive naturally. Further to this i decided to go down the route of donor egg IVF and got pregnant on the first try. As I thought time was of the essence and this would reduce the time and the risk of miscarriage, it seemed a logical step to take.


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