Today a woman in her forties is in one of her prime.
At this stage of their lives, they usually have a stable employment, financial and emotional situation and a good state of health. This leads more and more women to postpone childbearing at this age.
We all know someone in their 40s who has become pregnant spontaneously and had a problem-free pregnancy. Therefore, there is a misconception that there are no problems in getting pregnant between the ages of 40 and 45, but it is just that, a misconception.
Reproductive techniques have evolved a lot in recent years and this means that we can achieve pregnancies that were previously unfeasible, but we must take into account the way to achieve them.
“AT 40, THE QUANTITY AND QUALITY OF EGGS HAS DECREASED CONSIDERABLY.”
As much as our life expectancy has increased, what has not changed is our biology. There is something that is a fact and that we cannot deny, the ovarian reserve (quantity of eggs) at the age of 40 has decreased considerably and so has the quality of the eggs, many of which cause alterations at the level of genetic information.
These two facts make achieving a pregnancy that evolves properly not so simple. In addition, we cannot forget that we are not a reproductively efficient species and that only 30% of the embryos that are produced spontaneously will result in pregnancies, 15% of which will end in miscarriage.
Does all this mean that we will not be able to get pregnant after the age of 40?
No, but we must be clear about our options. If after six months of spontaneous attempts we have not achieved a pregnancy, it would be advisable to go to an assisted human reproduction unit.
Depending on our ovarian reserve, we can consider IVF/ICSI(in vitro fertilization with intracytoplasmic microinjection) with some chances of achieving pregnancy.
The reality is that the majority of women who become pregnant over the age of 40 do so through egg donation. The reason for this is that egg donation cycles use eggs from young women, which ensures adequate quantity and quality.
Another option, if we intend to delay childbearing, is to freeze the oocytes themselves, by vitrification, at less than 35 years of age, after which the oocyte quality deteriorates more rapidly. It is a way to preserve our fertility.
In any case, it is important that we have at our disposal truthful and adequate information to be able to make important decisions such as the moment of motherhood.
It is possible to become a mother naturally after the age of 40, although assisted reproduction treatments such as egg donation or preservation can help us to achieve this more quickly and safely. We must also bear in mind that pregnancy after the age of 40 means an increase in risks during gestation, all factors that must be taken into consideration before taking the plunge.