Perhaps you’ve delayed starting a family because of your career, you weren’t in a stable relationship, or you simply weren’t ready to be a mother. There are many reasons why women decide to delay pregnancy until their 40s, but what does this mean for your chances?
Chances of getting pregnant at 40 naturally
Whilst it is still feasible for women over 40 to conceive naturally, there is no denying that your chances of getting pregnant have decreased significantly over the last 10 years.
This is as fertility begins to decline around the age of 32, becomes more rapid at 35 until by age 40, fertility has fallen by half.
- At 30 there is a 20% chance of getting pregnant per cycle
- At 40 there is a 5% chance of getting pregnant per cycle
- At 45 there is a 1% chance of getting pregnant per cycle
Why your chances of getting pregnant decrease
As women are only born with a finite number of follicles (eggs), a decline in fertility is natural as there is a decrease in the number of eggs with time. Therefore, whilst a 40 year old woman still has around 10,000 eggs, this is just 3% of the original 300,000 present at the onset of puberty.
The follicles also accumulate mutations overtime - meaning there is a breakdown of DNA repair mechanisms - so the rate of failed fertilisation, miscarriage and birth defect increase as you get older.
Natural ways to increase fertility
The best way to increase your chance of getting pregnant at 40 quickly is to make sure that you are having unprotected sex at the right time in your cycle.
You also need to consider:
- Lifestyle changes - a healthy lifestyle with good diet (protein, fruit & veg and calcium), exercise, no smoking and reducing alcohol and caffeine intake.
- Reduce your stress levels - can interact negatively with reproductive hormones
However, If you have tried all of the above and not fallen pregnant after 6 months or more of regular unprotected sex, it is important you seek medical advice.
Natural IVF and Mild IVF for women in their 40s
As your chances of falling pregnant naturally over 40 is <5%, many couples decide to increase their chances with assisted reproductive technologies such as IVF.
At CREATE, we specialise in Natural IVF and Mild IVF treatments that work alongside the body’s natural menstrual cycle, and have excellent success rates. We are especially proud of our success with older women using their own eggs, and those with low ovarian reserve. With Natural IVF and Modified Natural IVF, we are able to help women who have been turned away elsewhere or told that egg donation is their only option.
We have even achieved a record of having the two eldest women in the world get pregnant with IVF using their own eggs, at the age of 48.
By working alongside your natural cycle, we are able to focus on those eggs that only need gentle help to mature, meaning that they will be of good quality. As there are either no drugs or fewer drugs in order to achieve a mild response, this makes it much safer for women and the closest IVF treatment to natural fertilisation available.
Find out about the different types of fertility treatment here
Likelihood of pregnancy in your 40s with IVF
At an average, your chances of getting pregnant at 40 with Natural IVF* is 9%, whilst your chances with Mild IVF* are 20%. However, it is important to note that your chance of IVF success is dependent on your own specific circumstances. It considers both your medical history and fertility, and will be discussed with you at your Initial Consultation.
*CREATE Fertility St Paul’s Clinical Pregnancy Rate Per Treatment Cycle
Chances of pregnancy for Natural Cycle IVF by age:
Clinical pregnancies per treatment cycle | Natural/Modified IVF | July 15 - June 16 | CREATE St Paul's
Chances of pregnancy for Mild Stimulation IVF by age:
Clinical pregnancies per treatment cycle | IVF & ICSI | July 15 - June 16 | CREATE St Paul's
In most cases, our success rates are higher than the HFEA National average. To find out more about our success rates, including frozen embryo transfer and low AMH success rates, please see our success rates page.