How Does Age Affect Pregnancy?

Now more than ever, women are in charge of their own health. Maybe you wanted to finish school, advance in your career, or find the right person to settle down with before you started your family.

You can choose when and if you want to get pregnant, but getting pregnant successfully relies on lots of different factors. Your overall health and your age are a few of those factors, but being in your 30s or older doesn’t mean it’s too late to have a child.

Daniel McDonald, MD, Marc Wilson, MD, and our team at OB/GYN Specialists are fertility and pregnancy experts. We believe there’s no “right” age to have a baby, and we strive to provide quality care for women of all ages.

Every woman’s goals are different. If you’re planning to start your family later in life, it’s important to know how your age could affect your pregnancy experience.

Age and your fertility

Women are born with over 1 million eggs, and that number naturally decreases with age. The quality of eggs you have goes down as well, and your fertility declines with it.

Research shows that women tend to be most fertile in their 20s. Your fertility starts declining around age 32, and declines more rapidly starting around age 35.

Women in their mid-20s have a 20% chance of getting pregnant after three months of trying, and the chance of getting pregnant in that amount of time at age 35 is about 12%. After 40, your chance of getting pregnant naturally after three months is only 7%.

While your number of eggs decreases with age, hormonal changes as you get older could increase your chances of having multiples, like twins or triplets. The chance of getting pregnant with multiples also increases with certain types of fertility treatments.

Age and your health during pregnancy

Your age continues to play a role even after you get pregnant. Women who are 17 and younger or 35 and older are more likely to have complications during pregnancy, labor, and delivery than women who are 18-34.

These complications may include:

Also, the risk of miscarriage increases with maternal age. For women under 35, about 14% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, but that percentage increases to about 40% for women 40 and older.

If you’re younger than 18 or older than 34, your pregnancy may be considered high-risk even if you’re generally healthy and you don’t have a history of pregnancy complications. 

Dr. McDonald and Dr. Wilson offer comprehensive prenatal care for moms of all ages to ensure you and your baby maintain your best health during pregnancy and beyond.

What to do when you’re ready to get pregnant

No matter your age, the decision to get pregnant is a big one. Dr. McDonald, Dr. Wilson, and our team are here to support you when you decide you want to have a baby.

We offer comprehensive care for women, whether they’re trying to conceive, facing infertility, or currently pregnant. If you want to get pregnant, consider scheduling a preconception consultation with our doctors.

A physical exam could help identify gynecologic conditions, like endometriosis or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), that might interfere with your fertility. We also review your medical history, previous pregnancies, and your age to determine what complications you might face as you grow your family.

Being older can make pregnancy more difficult, but it’s important to note that many women in their 30s and 40s get pregnant successfully, and go on to have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.

Our team is dedicated to providing compassionate care to help you reach your goals. Contact us online or call our office at 940-202-0566 to schedule your first appointment.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Here's What May Be Causing Your Pelvic Pain

Pelvic pain is common among women of all ages. And if you’re suffering, it’s important to determine the cause so you can start finding relief. Learn more about the most common gynecologic conditions responsible for pelvic pain.

How Often Should I Have a Pap Smear?

Pap smears are an important part of your health care plan, because these simple tests are the best way to screen for cervical cancer. It takes years for cervical cancer to develop, however, so you may not need a Pap smear every year.

What to Expect During Each Trimester of Pregnancy

Pregnancy is exciting, but this time of dramatic change also brings up lots of questions for moms-to-be. Whether you’re pregnant now or you’re looking toward the future, here’s what you can expect during each trimester of pregnancy.

What You Should Know if You Have an Abnormal Pap Smear

You had a routine Pap smear, and you just learned that the results were abnormal. It’s normal to be concerned, but abnormal results don’t automatically mean you have cervical cancer. Learn the causes of abnormal results and what you should do next.

10 Key Symptoms of Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a common gynecological condition that’s linked to heavy periods and chronic pelvic pain, but symptoms look different from woman to woman. Learn to recognize the 10 most common signs, so you can get the care you need.