In today’s society, young people do not automatically marry their high school sweethearts immediately following graduation. A lot of men and women prefer to attend college and build successful careers before attempting to build families. In other cases, some people just don’t meet Mr. or Miss Right until they’re in their late thirties or forties. This means that many people are getting married and having children later in life than their own parents did.
Men are typically able to conceive a child no matter how old they are, but age does affect a women’s fertility. In rare cases, menopause can occur as early as a woman’s thirties or as late as her sixties, but most women do not stop menstruating until they reach their early or mid-fifties. This means that a woman in her forties can, in fact, get pregnant naturally.
There is no denying the fact that fertility does drop with age. Even so, many women who are in their forties choose to get pregnant – and they are able to do so naturally and have successful, healthy pregnancies. Some people wrongly assume that anyone who has a baby in her forties must have undergone expensive fertility treatment, but that just isn’t always true.
Bad health habits may lower your fertility, so women over 40 should follow the same common advice given to younger women that are hoping to conceive – avoid all methods of birth control, maintain a healthy body weight, consume a healthy low-fat diet rich in folic acid, take vitamins, limit caffeine intake, get enough sleep, and give up smoking and drinking. The risk of miscarriage and birth defects, including Down’s syndrome, is higher among older mothers, but this should not scare you – it is just particularly important for women over 40 to follow all pre-pregnancy advice.
It’s also important for a woman over 40 to have sex as frequently as possible during ovulation, making her chances of conceiving that month as high as possible. She will have a slimmer chance of getting pregnant if she only has sex once or twice during her time of ovulation, and she simply does not have years and years ahead of her to try to get pregnant as menopause approaches.
Pregnancy at or after the age of 40does happen. It can happen to you, too. You probably know that Madonna, Halle Berry, Nicole Kidman, Brooke Shields, and Mariska Hargitay are all successful Hollywood stars, but they are also all women who gave birth in their forties.