Many women have successfully had babies, even after turning 40. This, however, does not come easy for many as they risk a number of complications. Take note that complications during pregnancy can happen at any age or stage so it’s important to monitor your changes and discuss them with your doctor. Let’s look at some of the issues that can be a possibility once you get to 40.

Getting Pregnant

The chance of getting pregnant at 40 is about 40 to 50 percent. The major reason for this is the fact that the number of oocytes (the number of cells in an ovum) reduce every year. By the age of 45, a woman will have very few if at all.

Health of Mother and Baby

It is possible for a woman in her 40s to have a healthy pregnancy. It is also true that progressed age increases the health risks in both mother and baby. The baby has a higher risk of having chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome. 

On the other hand, the 40+-year-old mum is vulnerable to certain diseases and chronic disorders such as diabetes and blood pressure. There’s also a higher risk of getting malignant tumors. 

As a result, the health risks of pregnancy for the mother include:-

  • Gestational diabetes 
  • Pre-eclampsia 
  • Placenta previa
  • Miscarriage
  • Premature/ Preterm delivery 

Antenatal Care

The good news is it’s easy to detect most of these health risks during pregnancy. Antenatal care is a vital way of keeping mother and baby healthy. It is important to get information about how your pregnancy is developing throughout. It helps the health professional watch out for any risk signs. They monitor through blood tests, physical examination and ultrasound.

Checking for genetic conditions during antenatal care is a personal choice. There is a higher possibility of getting a child with Down syndrome for older women. Consult your doctor about your chances and the actions you would like to take. You can undergo screening tests like ultrasound or blood test to detect this condition. 

If a problem is visible, the doctor will do a diagnostic test like:

  • chorionic villus sampling and 
  • amniocentesis

You can choose to go for genetic counselling to find out what to expect and how to handle the situation. The counsellor will talk to you regarding your family, about what might or might occur with your baby, and how you might handle the situation.



Please note that development differs from one child to another. 

Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.

Be careful when using any products mentioned on this website. We hold no regulations for such products or their providers.


Last reviewed March 2019 

Sources: parents, pregnancybirthbaby, babycenter, motherhow

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