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what age are women no longer able to conceive naturally? - Page 2

post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmum35 View Post
Well I certainly hope to get something out of the conception A miscarriage didn't enter my mind to be honest.
I think miscarriage rates average around 30% at age 40.


Quote:
And part of my question was about women years ago who didn't use birth control, and their age at last child. Would be interested in hearing more about ages of parents grandparents (esp. those with large families who did not do natural family planning) with their youngest. Or for that matter one in todays world who might do this (but assume this is too rare to get many replies)
I don't know how helpful this kind of anecdote is, but FWIW my grandmother had her last (of 8) at age 39. I dunno if she did any kind of NFP but she was having them about every 2 years before that.

I met a woman last year who had her last, completely unexpectedly, at 44 (she gave birth around the same time as her daughter actually). I met another woman a couple of months ago who conceived spontaneously and accidentally at 44 also, but CSV revealed Down's syndrome and she chose to end the pregnancy. I work in a women's wellness clinic currently so I've been seeing this kind of thing. I must say that I see MANY more women with difficulty getting pregnant in their late 30s/early 40s than those who conceive spontaneously. Doubtless a lot of that is that the infertile ones are more likely to come see us

I also know a Catholic family with eleven children where the wife is pregnant with her 12th. She is 39 I believe. Dunno how many more she is going to have obviously but their youngest is 14 months right now and that seems to be pretty much what their spacing has been generally (they started when she was in her early 20s).
post #22 of 33
I remembering reading something about 27 being the magic number of the tipping point, but I don't remember if that was just conceiving or carrying to term/health effects. But I remember this whole bru-haha about it at the time, it was in Time Magazine and the author made this point about how women had been lied to, that you could have a career and then have babies at 35+, when for many that was past the peak time. But women can certainly conceive naturally well into 40s.
post #23 of 33

Egg quality declines with age

As you get older, just because you're still ovulating regularly, doesn't mean your egg quality is what it was when you were 18-24. The eggs have been with you since you were in your mother's womb, and they have been aging. Boy have they been aging. By the time you're in your 40s, you are down to the very last dregs of your egg supply. They may have damaged DNA, which means they are less likely to get fertilized, and if fertilized, more likely to miscarry.

I saw this when I went through fertility treatments. Granted these are women/couples who are the unlucky subset of the population that cannot get pregnant on their own for whatever reason. But from a statistical standpoint, age made such a huge difference. And we're not talking about age 24 vs age 42. We're talking about relatively close ages... like your likelihood of success at age 37 vs age 40.

I don't think you should be worrying as you conceived with no trouble at 35. But I also want to caution that if having another child is very important to you, please take this from someone who has spent three years on the infertile side: don't wait too long. You may be one of the lucky ones and get pregnant on the second try when you're 42. But statistically, that doesn't happen as often. And if you ever have to turn to fertility treatments, the younger you are, the better off you will be.
post #24 of 33
Thread Starter 
Im 38. We have been CONSIDERING trying for a 2nd this summer and if successful Id have #2 at a young 39. The dilemma was should I wait one more year or 2 (and if so, that would put me at over 40 at birth!) - not sure if they measure these things during conception age, or birth age!

Im very interested in what you said about the big change in fertility at 37 vs 40 .. do you have any sources? I guess I just can't imagine things will be THAT different in another year or two than they are now. But what do I know, thats why I wrote

another thing I sometimes think of is if I have #2 at 39, than that would leave my options more open for possibly having a 3rd. BUt if I wait longer for #2, then will it be too late for me to ever have a 3rd?

This is one reason why I wrote to hear some different perspectives. I hear a lot in the news about women in late 40s giving birth... but those are with fertility treatments usually (I think) Im not interested in going that route if it turns out that things aren't as easy as we anticipate we will just be happy with the one we have

I suppose I should have started sooner. the 30% miscarriage at age 40 is a bit disconcerting! I have read however (3 years ago when i was pregnant that is) that something like 5 out of 6 pregnancies result in miscarriage (memory could be off here, someone correct my figures if wrong) but that the woman is too early to even know, so just days or weeks into it and its over already, so she may have thought a late period or something. And I recall if you make it to the 2nd tri, or past the 3rd month then the rates of miscarriage go down dramatically. And wondering here how all that ties into older women, does it all apply equally too.

Very thankful for all the interesting replies!!
post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmum35 View Post
Im very interested in what you said about the big change in fertility at 37 vs 40 .. do you have any sources?
http://www.advancedfertility.com/age.htm

There's a graph about halfway down the page that may be of interest.
Also of interest, further down the page, a bit that addresses your original question:

A 1957 Study of Fertility Rate by Age in Women

The study was on a large population that never used birth control. The investigators measured the relationship between the age of the female partner and fertility. Infertility rates are now higher in the general population than for the population in this study from the 1950s.

This study found:

* By age 30, 7% of couples were infertile
* By age 35, 11% of couples were infertile
* By age 40, 33% of couples were infertile
* At age 45, 87% of couples were infertile



Just googling around I see most fertility clinics put their maximum age for IVF with the patient's own eggs at around 43, because at that age the chances of a live birth with own eggs drop below 5% or so.

Quote:
another thing I sometimes think of is if I have #2 at 39, than that would leave my options more open for possibly having a 3rd.
What are your reasons for wanting to delay may I ask? All other things being equal, I'd say it seems safer to TTC earlier rather than later.
post #26 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mambera View Post
http://www.advancedfertility.com/age.htm

There's a graph about halfway down the page that may be of interest.
Also of interest, further down the page, a bit that addresses your original question.
Excellent link. Still poking around. Exactly what I needed to make this decision. Thanks so much.
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmum35 View Post
Im very interested in what you said about the big change in fertility at 37 vs 40 .. do you have any sources? I guess I just can't imagine things will be THAT different in another year or two than they are now. But what do I know, thats why I wrote
My "source" is from back when I was hunting for an IVF clinic... and looking at individual statistics from different clinics. The CDC requires fertility clinics to publish their IVF success rates -- although I'm giving a different link here because I could not get the CDC tables to work.
http://www.sart.org/find_frm.html#
They classify women in these age groups: <35, 35-37, 38-40, 41-42, and after 42 I guess the statistics are so poor that CDC doesn't even require it as a category to report on.

Obviously these are the statistics for women who've had to resort to IVF... so not reflective of the still-fertile population. But, what I think it's showing is that in the younger groups, IVF is more able to overcome whatever defect that is causing these women (myself included in them) to not be able to conceive on their own, but that in the "older" age groups, the cause of infertility is increasingly simply due to declining egg quality (and quantity in a sense as well, since the more eggs you can retrieve in an IVF cycle, the more shots you have at a viable pregnancy -- eventually). Does that make sense? For example, my DH and I would likely have been infertile as a couple at any age -- we were both subfertile, me with PCOS and auto-immune issues and he with abnormal morphology. So when we went for IVF at age 31 (me) and 34 (DH), IVF was able to overcome our issues. Whereas, more of the women who were going in for IVF at age, say, 40, would probably have been able to get pregnant on their own just 3-5 years previously.

Quote:
Originally Posted by newmum35 View Post
another thing I sometimes think of is if I have #2 at 39, than that would leave my options more open for possibly having a 3rd. BUt if I wait longer for #2, then will it be too late for me to ever have a 3rd?
This is my own belief -- I don't know how "right" it is, scientifically. But I think each woman has her own age where her fertility starts to really decline, probably over several years. The statistics tell us where this range of decline falls on average, but of course that doesn't inform you on an individual level -- you could be on the curve, or way off the curve on one side or the other and we just don't know. From this I make two conclusions:
1) Trying sooner won't hurt, and trying later could hurt, because we don't know where an individual stands and we can only say that all our fertility declines with age.
2) But having said that, within any one individual, I honestly don't think 6-12 months makes a gigantic difference. 3 years, yes, but your fertility within a shorter timeframe is probably not hugely different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by newmum35 View Post
I hear a lot in the news about women in late 40s giving birth... but those are with fertility treatments usually (I think)
I hate those articles because I think it does women a real disservice. It creates the illusion that people are fertile well into their 40s, when the reality is very different. The vast majority of people giving birth in their late 40s -- especially for the first time -- haven't just had fertility treatment. They are using donor eggs. That's the part that the media almost never covers -- even if the celebrity admits to having had IVF, a lot of times they won't own up to the donor eggs.

Regarding the miscarriage rates... I thought it was more like 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, but I'm going off memory here. You're right that most miscarriages happen relatively early on and the longer you go in the pregnancy, the better your chances of a live birth become. If I recall correctly, if you make it past 8-9 weeks you are already in pretty good shape because most miscarriages that happen due to the baby being not-quite-right (DNA wise) would happen before that time.

Good luck with whatever you decide. You seem to be in a good place -- you would be happy with one child if a second is just not in the cards for you, and as I said earlier, I don't think 6-12 months makes that much difference within any one individual. Some things are just out of our hands and you can't worry about things you can't control. I think the only thing I would change in my thinking is any assumption you had (if you had one) that you will be fertile until your mid-40s. That's not something I think anyone should/can assume.
post #28 of 33
My mom had her last baby at 43. she nursed for 26 months and was really hoping that she would be able to have another one but she never did. she's 48 now and going through the change.
post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmum35 View Post
I have read however (3 years ago when i was pregnant that is) that something like 5 out of 6 pregnancies result in miscarriage (memory could be off here, someone correct my figures if wrong)
I was told when i had my mc it was 1/4


I'm getting a little worried about this declining fertility starting at 27, i'm currently TTC and am 27
post #30 of 33

I had normal regular periods until the age of 58. At age 54 I thought I was going through menopause because my periods stopped. My breasts were very tender. Two months later I started bleeding profusely with severe cramps and pain. I went to the ER. We were shocked to learn I was miscarrying. They did hormone counts, the works. I was definitely pregnant. I had naturally conceived at age 54, husband 56. We had seven living children, ages 18 to 35. Sad ending to a very surprising story, although it was not something I would actively pursue! My OB-GYN doctor was amazed and tells his older patients about me when they want to stop using contraception. So, if you are still having regular cycles, it is very possible to conceive naturally after age 50.

post #31 of 33

I continued to have regular full periods until the age of 58. At the age of 54, I thought I was going through menopause because my periods stopped. My breasts became very tender. Two months later I started bleeding heavily and was in terrible pain. I went to the ER. The staff, my husband and I were amazed to learn that I was miscarrying. We already had seven grown children, ages 17 - 34! They gave me all the tests, hormone counts, etc. I had definitely become pregnant the natural way at age 54. My husband was 56. Although I would not actively seek to have another child that late in life, it was still sad ending to a shocking event.  My OB-GYN doctor uses my story daily in his office when speaking with peri-menopausal women who think they no longer need to use contraceptives. But the flip side of that is, there is hope for women past 40 who desire to have children.

post #32 of 33

I continued to have regular full periods until the age of 58. At the age of 54, I thought I was going through menopause because my periods stopped. My breasts became very tender. Two months later I started bleeding heavily and was in terrible pain. I went to the ER. The staff, my husband and I were amazed to learn that I was miscarrying. We already had seven grown children, ages 17 - 34! They gave me all the tests, hormone counts, etc. I had definitely become pregnant the natural way at age 54. My husband was 56. Although I would not actively seek to have another child that late in life, it was still sad ending to a shocking event.  My OB-GYN doctor uses my story daily in his office when speaking with peri-menopausal women who think they no longer need to use contraceptives. But the flip side of that is, there is hope for women past 40 who desire to have children.

post #33 of 33

From what I've heard, the reason our grandmothers or great-grandmothers could easily have a baby in their early 40s was because they had been having babies back to back for 15-20 yrs and that somehow helped fertility? But that if you have your first when you're 40+ you have a much more difficult time. Women on my mom's side go through menopause pretty late (my mom was 60, for example) and don't have issues with having babies later in life. I think the average age of menopause for women in your family is definitely something to consider, but fertility is such an individual thing.

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