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Pregnant at 45
Pregnant at 45
So I first started to try and get pregnant when I was 43. OK so this is probably a bit late for most people and I never really intended this for myself but often life doesn't really go to plan and my idea of having my first child when the century turned in 2000 when I would have been 33 just didn't pan out. I didn't meet the right guy and I never managed to settle down, get married and have that perfect family life.
So when I decided it was now or never at the age of 43 I was still not in a relationship so I had to take things into my own hands and make this happen for me. You can read my story of trying to get pregnant when over 40 in my original article here.
As it happened, it took me 10 months to conceive after I started trying and I was 44 and pregnant before I knew it! From all of the stories that I had heard I thought it was near impossible to get pregnant in your 40s but it turns out that this was not the case. Unfortunately that pregnancy did not go to term and I had a miscarriage at just under 9 weeks after being diagnosed with a Blighted Ovum.
Although I knew quite a few other women who had managed to get pregnant naturally in their 40s I decided that, as my situation was difficult in terms of trying to get pregnant every month, I would go down a different route that would give me a better chance of a take home baby at the end of the day and that was by using donor eggs in an IVF cycle abroad.
I would say that I was lucky in that I was left some money to be able to do this procedure otherwise it would probably have been out of my financial reach and I would have had to either give up or kept trying naturally.
So, in June/July 2013 I went through a cycle of IVF using donor eggs. I had one embryo put back and it seems that the donor egg cycle has worked and I am now nearly 6 weeks pregnant!
Is Donor Egg the only option at age 45?
I think this is a question that many people in their 40s might ask. The act of using donor eggs means that there is much more likelihood of success as younger eggs means a much lower chance of chromosomal abnormalities and hence a lower chance of miscarriage. It also means that the chances of the IVF cycle working against a cycle using your own eggs are way higher.
For example, the American Pregnancy Association quotes the success rates of IVF using your own eggs over age 40 are between 6 and 10% (rates are even lower if you are 45). However, success rates for IVF using donor eggs can go as high as 80% (it depends on the clinic you choose) and the success rate often doesn't depend on the age of the recipient as the donor is usually in their twenties and the age of the eggs tends to be what affects the success rates.
However, don't go thinking that it is not possible to get pregnant naturally with your own eggs in your 40s. The number of women getting pregnant over 40 is rising every year and in fact from 2009 to 2010 the only increase in the number of pregnancies in any age sector was in the 40-44 age group. There is an interesting study by the CDC that you can check out here.
In fact I know of a number of women who have gone on to give birth in their 40s even though it may have been a struggle to conceive or else some of them have had to go through multiple miscarriages before having their baby. That is the problem as we all know, the miscarriage rate in over 40s is quite high and has been quoted as being as high as 50%. Obviously it is a difficult figure to tie down as many miscarriages will be early and go unregistered.
What are the chances of this working?
Well as I have said previously, the miscarriage rates in natural pregnancies are high, but don't forget if there is a 50% chance that you will miscarry then there is also a 50% chance that you won't! If you can get pregnant then you have a really good chance of getting a baby at the end of it as getting pregnant is usually the biggest struggle.
As for me and using donor eggs then surprisingly enough the rates of miscarriage after IVF are pretty similar to those in a natural cycle so with using eggs from a 20+ year old I have a 15% chance of miscarriage. Obviously as this happened to me at 44 (albeit with my own eggs) I am constantly aware that this could happen and will not be making any plans until I at least have my first scan under my belt.
In the mean time I will try and enjoy just being pregnant at 45.
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Live Birth Rates for the US in 2010
Update - 23 Weeks
So I have made it to 23 weeks! Touch wood everything seems to be going OK. I will start to have some extra monitoring in the coming months to make sure everything is still on track but at the moment all seems good with my baby boy!
I am expanding rapidly right now and although my bump was quite small to start with it now seems to be much more noticeable in just the last couple of weeks.
It is likely that I will be induced a week early due to my age but that is fine by me, I'm sure I will be ready to meet my baby by then :-)