Getting Pregnant When You’re 40(ish)

Women live in an incredibly fast-paced world today and, despite our best intentions, life can fly right by us. Before you know it, you’re working against time trying to get pregnant in your 40s. Now and then, we all need a little help to get to where we’re going, so it’s important to have the facts and weigh all your options to help pave the way to your desired destination – motherhood!

The Odds

Once you’ve entered your 40s, your chances of conceiving on your own each month drop to a mere five percent. This rate is a major drop from twenty percent in your 30s. While getting pregnant using your own eggs is still possible, it’s the rapid (albeit natural) decline in your egg quality and quantity that reduces your ability to get pregnant as you get older.

You can increase your odds of pregnancy success by using donor eggs. The success rate using donor eggs doesn’t lower with age. In fact, women in their 40s who choose to use donor eggs enjoy a higher rate of pregnancy than younger women who use their own eggs.  

Motherhood Expectation vs Reality

Improving the Odds

Weighing your options and electing to use donor eggs is a major step toward potential parenthood. It may take time to come around to the idea of using donor eggs, but once you’ve made the decision, you can be confident that you’ve significantly improved your chances to experience pregnancy and become a mother.

Now that you’re ready to move forward with egg donor IVF, one of the first things you’ll have to consider is the best type of donor egg for your situation – fresh or frozen. Criteria such as cost, donor characteristics, and availability will probably factor into your decision. After comparing the two, you’ll find you won’t be as limited with frozen eggs because they cost less, are more readily available, don’t require cycle synchronisation with your donor, and there’s a larger, more diverse donor pool to choose from.

Next, you can select your donor. Most egg recipients use anonymous donors. All donors are between 21 to 33 years old and medically evaluated against strict criteria to ensure their eggs are of optimal quality.

You’ll be able to refine your donor search based on the attributes you desire. Physical characteristics you can choose include ethnicity, eye colour, hair colour, and height. You can also consider your donor’s education level, personal accomplishments, and interests.  

Concerned about the legalities of the donor egg process? It’s important to note that legal contracts will be put in place to protect your rights as the future parent.

Overcoming the Odds

You’ll be tested and counselled to further prepare for your IVF cycle and ensure you’re in optimal physical and emotional health to undergo IVF procedures and become pregnant. The counselling will not only cover the psychological and emotional aspects, but also what the procedures entail, the risks involved, and the likely outcomes.

One outcome to note is that the likelihood of having multiple children increases when using donor egg. This is because usually more than one fertilised egg is implanted into your uterus.

If you choose to use fresh eggs, you’ll have to additionally prepare by synchronising cycles with your donor. This step requires additional time, sometimes several months or more. However, if you choose frozen eggs, you can start the IVF as soon as your individual cycle is ready.

When you’re ready for implantation, your donor eggs will be retrieved. At this point, frozen eggs will be thawed. The eggs you chose will be fertilised with sperm cells from your partner or a sperm donor to develop embryos. The viable embryos will be transferred to your uterus, and you’ll take a pregnancy test two weeks later to see if the procedure was successful.

A Mother by Any Egg

Although the egg comes from a different source, you are the one to create and foster a biological environment for your embryo and baby when you choose to become a mother through donor egg IVF. You‘ll be the one to experience pregnancy and give birth to your baby. From day one, you’ll be the one consciously taking the physical and emotional steps to welcome your child into the world with unconditional love. A mother by any egg is the one who provides for, loves, and nurtures her child.

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I'm Hayley and this is us; working parents to three tiny wild ones. Whether it's travel, food, lifestyle or just a healthy dose of parenting reality, there's something for everyone here. So sit back, get comfy and start scrolling!

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