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Getting pregnant in your thirties: what are your odds?
Getting pregnant when you are over thirty years old seems like the perfect time to many couples. You have already acquired some stability in your relationship and at work, which may provide a sound basis to start a family. Normally you have had the chance to enjoy quality time and to spend enough leisure and recreation together, without the care for children. Your batteries are fully charged to embark on a great adventure: getting pregnant!
That is the good news. The bad news is that you must not wait too long if you want to get pregnant. There is a large difference between a female’s fertility if she is 30 compared to when she is 39. As from 30, the chance of getting pregnant decreases exponentially. So if you are in your thirties and planning on having children, it is best not to wait and to get started as soon as possible.
Getting pregnant in your thirties: the advantages
Getting pregnant in your thirties is, from a financial and practical point of view, the perfect time. You already have a higher income and a financial reserve to bear the extra costs of having children. You have acquired more structure in your relationship, so you can provide a greater stability. You have a steady job, which will not be jeopardized during your pregnancy and maternity leave.
Yet, it is best to make plans before you get pregnant and to carefully consider your financial means. Make sure the baby does not put a major strain on your budget so that the financial pressure does not become too high. That stress can reduce your success at getting pregnant.
Women in their thirties often have more perseverance and resilience than mothers in their twenties. Those are great benefits when trying to get pregnant. Once you have become a mother, those qualities may also come in handy for raising your children. You are also calmer as a parent than in your twenties, but you still have the energy and strength of a young mother.
Getting pregnant in your thirties: the disadvantages
If you have only just turned thirty, naturally your chances of getting pregnant will be as high as those of someone in her late twenties, and the risk of miscarriage and Down’s syndrome will only be slightly higher. Once you are over 35 years of age, fertility decreases more quickly. You are also more likely to have complications during pregnancy. Getting pregnant when you are older than 35 involves more risks and can be more difficult than if you are between 30 and 35 years old.
Once you have become pregnant and you are older than 35 there is a 40% chance that you will have to give birth through a Caesarean compared to a 14% chance with pregnant women in their twenties. Those are figures which apply to the delivery of a first child. Nobody knows why that percentage is higher with older women, but supposedly doctors refuse to take unnecessary risks of complications and prefer to proceed to a Caesarean more quickly.
Experts advise women over 35 years of age to seriously consider their wish of getting pregnant, especially if they want more than one child. Most problems do indeed arise when trying to get pregnant of a second child. By that time, women are already facing their fortieth birthday and by then, their most fertile period has long passed.
Getting pregnant in your thirties: what are your chances?
There is a clear decrease in fertility between 29 and 35 years of age, but at that time most women experience little trouble getting pregnant. As from the age of 38, getting pregnant does become more problematic, though.
If you are trying to get pregnant, when you are between 30 and 39 years old, you have a 15% chance to succeed at your first ovulation. You have a 75% chance that you will get pregnant during the first year, but once you are over 35, that chance only amounts to 65%.
If you are over 35 years old when you are pregnant for the first time, the chance of a miscarriage is 40%, as opposed to a 14% chance for mothers-to-be in their twenties.
Eventhough you are not taking any medication to get pregnant, the chance of twins is much higher, if you are trying to get pregnant when you are between 35 and 39 years old. That has to do with a change in your hormonal household. The level of the hormone which stimulates the egg cell to detach from the ovary, has increased, so the chance that more than one egg cell detaches and is fertilized becomes greater as well. In a nutshell, older women have more trouble getting pregnant, but if they succeed, they have a higher chance of twins or triplets.