Early 40s (40 to 44)
With advancing age, egg quality and quantity go down. At this stage, you’re facing a few challenges that make it hard to conceive and harder to carry on pregnancy. At the age of 40, 90 percent of a woman’s eggs are chromosomally abnormal. Assistance from reproductive technologies becomes more common at this time. It is not just because of the egg issue, there may be issues concerning the older male partner. The uterine lining thins and blood supply to it decreases with age, making it more difficult for the embryo to implant.
Women approaching menopause may also see their cycles shorten. (The onset of menopause is generally between ages 40 and 50.) That means as the cycle shortens, ovulation occurs earlier in the cycle, as soon as day nine, you need to adjust the timing of intercourse around ovulation accordingly. The rule of thumb at this age for natural conception is to have sex every other day around the time of ovulation. A good sign that you are getting close to ovulation is an increased production of a clear cervical mucus. An ovulation predictor kit may also help with the timing of sex. If conception is taking more than three months, see your doctor right away.
For women over the age of 40, conservative treatment with insemination carries a low success rate. The best option is IVF. For women who have low ovarian reserve and produce only a few eggs, or for women over the age of 43, egg donation is the best choice.
45 and over
At 45, a woman’s likelihood of getting pregnant is no more than 3 or 4 percent. That’s not to say it’s impossible, but assisted reproductive technologies are almost always required, with IVF being the most common. The few eggs you have left may have chromosomal abnormalities, so screening before IVF is critical, Success rates are 0 to 1 percent, and most clinics recommend using eggs donated by a younger woman for those who want to conceive between ages 46 and 50.
It’s fairly easy for a healthy woman to achieve and sustain a pregnancy if the egg is from a healthy 25- or 30-year old, Even if she’s in menopause, success rates are about 60 to 65 percent.”