Can I Conceive Over Age 40?

by | May 13, 2023 | IVF Services

Chances for successful pregnancy after 40 years old

More and more people choose to build their family later in life, including trying to conceive over age 40. However, the chances of a successful pregnancy decrease with age, and become much slimmer after age 40. In this article, we’ll discuss the difficulties of conceiving later in life and potential treatments to assist with becoming pregnant after 40.

Why Is it so Difficult to Conceive Over Age 40?

With age, both egg quantity and quality decrease, which makes it harder to become pregnant. This decline typically occurs gradually through a person’s mid-30s, at which point it becomes more steep, dropping off significantly after age 40. The decrease in available eggs can contribute to irregular or infrequent ovulation, meaning fewer eggs for potential fertilization. At the same time, eggs develop a higher likelihood of chromosomal abnormalities over time, which can cause implantation issues and pregnancy loss. In other words, the remaining eggs available for fertilization have a lower chance of successfully developing into a healthy pregnancy.

Can I Get Conceive Naturally Over Age 40?

The chances of becoming pregnant through natural conception first decrease gradually through a patient’s mid-30s, then decline significantly in their late 30s to 40s. A 30-year-old with no fertility challenges trying to conceive naturally has around a 20% chance of becoming pregnant each cycle. On the other hand, a 40-year-old trying to conceive has a less than 5% chance per cycle. By age 45, conceiving naturally becomes unlikely.

IVF Success Rates By Age

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a widely known option for fertility treatment for individuals who struggle to conceive. In IVF, a patient’s eggs are retrieved and fertilized in a lab to develop an embryo. The embryo is then transferred to the patient’s uterus, where it may successfully implant and develop into a pregnancy.

IVF can offer a promising treatment option for individuals with infertility. However, keep in mind that IVF success also relies on the quantity and quality of available eggs for retrieval. This means that IVF success rates mirror the overall drop in fertility with age, and it still may be more challenging to conceive via IVF after age 40. It’s important to review your chances of success and expectations for outcome with all treatment options available to you. 

Donor Egg IVF For Patients Over 40

For patients with decreased egg quantity and/or quality, donor eggs can provide an alternative path to pregnancy. Interestingly, egg age affects pregnancy success much more than the age of the pregnant person. To this point, donor egg IVF success rates are largely similar regardless of the recipient’s age.

We offer donor eggs through our partner egg bank, SIMPLIFY. Egg donors go through a rigorous screening process to maximize the quantity and quality of available donor eggs.

Becoming a parent through egg donation can be rewarding and fulfilling. It’s common to have a mix of complex feelings when considering donor egg IVF. If you are over age 40 and trying to conceive, our fertility specialists can help assess your individual situation and provide you information and context for your available options. When it comes to conceiving later in life, time is of the essence. To begin your journey, contact us today.