What are the benefits of motherhood

Pregnant at 40: advantages, disadvantages, and risks

Becoming a mother at 40 or older carries certain risks. Yet more and more women are opting for a late pregnancy. We explain to you what speaks in favor of late parent happiness and what you should pay attention to.

The birth rate among women aged 40 and over is increasing. According to the Federal Statistical Office, women of this age gave birth to around 42,800 babies in 2018. Although the birth rate of 88 children per 1,000 women was still relatively low, it has almost quadrupled since 1990.

Reasons for Late Pregnancy

There are many reasons for this: however, it is often women with a university degree who initially prefer their careers to having children. Long periods of training, late marriages and high divorce rates reinforce this trend.

What are the chances of getting pregnant at 40?

The question is often asked how high the probability is of getting pregnant in the fifth decade of life. In general, pregnancy naturally is possible. However, the probability decreases every year. Because with increasing age, not only does the quantity of egg cells decrease, but also their quality. This is why chromosomal disorders and miscarriages are more common.

The results of studies vary widely

The difficulty with studies on this topic is that mostly only women who want to have children are surveyed and observed. How fertility behaves in women aged 40 or older who do not want to have children is often overlooked. The results of studies differ significantly from one another. One study speaks of a ten percent probability that a 40-year-old woman will become pregnant within one cycle, in another one only speaks of a five percent probability.
Therefore, if you are still unsuccessful in pursuing your desire to have children after a year, see your gynecologist and have yourself examined.

Benefits of Late Pregnancy

Pregnancy and the time after the birth are more strenuous for mothers who are 40 or older and the reserves of strength are used up faster, but they have a lot better than many younger women in terms of psychological strength and serenity - which can have a positive effect on the development of the child . Further advantages are for example:

  • Mostly secure financial circumstances
  • Parents could "live out" their relationship
  • Often the mother's healthier lifestyle

Cons and Risks of Late Pregnancy

However, pregnancy from the age of 40 also has some disadvantages and risks for mother and child:

  • High blood pressure and diabetes are more common
  • Egg cells are more likely to have chromosomal defects
  • Exertions caused by little sleep and exertion are not put aside as easily as in the early 20s
  • Increased risk of premature birth
  • Complications during childbirth are more common: for example, the risk of shock with severe circulatory disorder at birth, the risk of amniotic fluid embolism and kidney failure increase

The risk of a chromosomal disorder, such as Down syndrome, is much higher than in younger pregnant women. Statistically speaking, in pregnancies over 40, one in 100 children is born with this impairment.

It is very important that the late pregnancy is monitored and accompanied by a doctor.

From what age a pregnant woman is considered a risk pregnant woman

A pregnant woman is classified as a high-risk pregnant woman in Germany from the age of 35. Statistically speaking, even at this age she has an increased risk of miscarriages and minor complications such as gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, gestosis, a deep placenta or thrombosis.