As I was waiting for my OB for my appointment, I cannot help but look at the rest of the expecting women on the line. I observed that most of them are in their twenties, lively and full of energy. No doubt that all have healthy pregnancies. Maybe it was I talking, with all the insecurity and anxiety of becoming a mom again at a later age.
Is 45 too old to have a baby?
Do you have an idea how a woman in her prime copes up with conceiving her first child, or like me, who got pregnant after my son turned eight last month? When exactly is it too late to conceive?
Age and Fertility
After stating my concerns to my OB, she chuckled and told me that fertility and age intertwine, but medicine only has statistics in general to show. Therefore, when someone like me shows up with a BFP, well, I am one of those who got a rare chance to have it. I learned that at the late twenties, women’s fertility starts to drop a bit. Then in the late thirties, it dramatically declines at a faster rate.
Hence, showing up for a prenatal examination at age 45, I managed to catch the 5% or less chance to win it. When you reach the late thirties that fertility falls at about 3% every year after and worsen to a 5-10% chance of getting pregnant during the ’40s. Although my current pregnancy is unexpected, still, I am amazed at how this little one in my womb managed to catch the last ride! However, what do you think are the risks?
Risks that You Should Know
I understand that with my age, the danger of a miscarriage is high. Complications, as the fetus develops, may arise as well. The risk there not only involves the baby in my womb but my health as the mother too. Per record, the rate of a miscarriage at this age of 40 and older is around 40-50%. Although the need to keep myself healthy does not guarantee that it will prevent the risk affecting my child, at least I can cope up with the strain that pregnancy brings and deliver the baby with lesser difficulty.
The fear of giving birth to a child that has chromosomal disabilities lingers. In fact, Down syndrome is also commonly associated with pre-menopausal pregnancy. Aside from that, the mother may experience preeclampsia, acquire gestational diabetes, and undergo C-Section. Hence, I would expect that as I go through with this pregnancy, more ultrasounds and laboratory tests may be required.
I have in mind that there may be a possibility that my egg already has some abnormalities, but no way shall I let myself be down with the complications that go with aging and late pregnancy. I know that with medical help, my blood pressure, sugar level, and some illness I can avoid with a good doctor and facilities.
Have You Thought About Your Partner?
As they say, “It takes two to do the Tango.” Having a baby concern me as not only a mother but also my partner as the father as well. Remember that his sperms are getting older too. Hence, my concern is not just my eggs, but also his sperms. However, men are physically able to father a child even at the age of 70 but sperms deteriorate in time.
In recent research, older men’s sperms are associated with genetic defects such as Down syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and schizophrenia.
The Advantages of Becoming Parents at 45
Let us not focus on risks and complications alone. Being at a mature age, having a baby has advantages too.
- You are already financially secure and experienced enough to face important decisions.
- You are wiser and is mature enough to deal with difficult situations.
- Family and friends are expected to be supportive and encouraging with the situation.
These reasons are just a few of why I personally do not believe that we need to set age on when a woman is too old to have a baby. Is 45 too old to have a baby? No, it is not! If you are physically able, financially equipped, and definitely mentally and emotionally ready to raise a child at 45, 50, or even older, then there is no way anyone can stop you.
Let me share with you this video of women voicing out their thoughts about this matter. They support what I want to explain as well.
Is getting pregnant at 45 naturally possible? The truth is, less likely. However, modern technology has something to do to make it a reality. If you got the money to support (because it is ridiculously so expensive), try checking out these fertility miracles.
- IVF using a young donor’s egg
- Freeze your egg when you are still young (in your twenties) and use it for IVF later
- Genetic screening by analyzing the DNA of each embryo to address and identify abnormal number of chromosomes of an old woman’s egg. The said condition is the primary cause of miscarriages.
There you go! Is 45 too old to have a baby? It is only you and your doctor who can say so. If you are pregnant now at 45, celebrate. In fact, I celebrate with you. However, seek medical assistance that you need, ask support from your loved ones, take care of yourself, and be positive.
Anything can happen. Embrace it!