by Rachel Burt, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner at Roswell OB/GYN………………………………….
Let’s talk about it… When our patients ask this question, they are really asking 3 different questions: Can I still conceive at my age? Am I at increased risk for having a baby with chromosome problems? And, am I at increased risk for miscarriage?
At age 30, the chance each month of getting pregnant is about 20 percent. It is hard to believe, but even with a perfect menstrual cycle our chances of conception each month at age 30 is just about one in five. At age 40, your chances go down to approximately 5 percent each month.
Unfortunately, our risk for having babies with chromosome problems and miscarriages also increases with age because our eggs are aging with us. Our aging eggs increase our risk for having chromosome abnormalities. These chromosome abnormalities are the most common reason for early miscarriages. In our 30s, our risk for miscarriage is about 1 in 4-5 pregnancies – not 1 in 4-5 people. The data suggests that if you have 2 children and your friend has 2 children – one of you has likely had a miscarriage. By the time we are 40, the miscarriage rate is approximately 33 percent of pregnancies. Our risk for having a child with Down Syndrome, the most common chromosome problem, is approximately 1 in 1000 at age 30 and 1 in 100 at age 40.
By no means am I trying to suggest we do not see healthy pregnancies and healthy babies with women in their 40s. However, I would not let the stories about movie stars getting pregnant later in life influence your decision to delay childbearing. There are options for patients who feel strongly about having children but are not in the right relationship at the moment. You can find some helpful information about egg preservation here
Also – please visit the March of Dimes web site below for more information on this topic.
Please schedule an appointment with us if you have any concerns or questions:
Call us at 770 751 3600.