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Conceiving after 40: Why It Shouldn’t Be Controversial Anymore

There was once a time when having children after your mid-20s was a controversial topic. Now, thanks to changing social norms and modern medicine, that number has crept up to 40. In fact, most women today would balk at the expectation to complete their families before 30.

So as women, let’s collectively decide not to give in to societal pressure to have children before we’re good and ready. In fact, there are plenty of benefits of waiting until after 40 to start your family, and here’s why.

The Benefits of Conceiving after 40

Rushing to have kids before you feel ready just isn’t beneficial for anyone involved. Think about these benefits of waiting until after 40 before jumping into parenting in your 20s or 30s.

  • It gives women a chance to focus on their careers. If your 20s are your chance to find yourself and your 30s are your chance to discover and work towards achieving your goals and aspirations, then your 40s are the perfect time for settling down and beginning to focus on your family. Women can absolutely have their cake and eat it too when it comes to balancing a career and a family life. The trick is not to try to achieve both of those goals at once.
  • Both parents are more financially stable. There’s no doubting the fact that most people in their 20s and 30s aren’t as financially stable as they’d like to be before starting a family. So why rush to conceive if you’re not sure that your finances are ready to support a baby?
  • Modern medicine has reduced medical risks of having children after 40. If you answered the “why rush” question above with something along the line of “medical risks,” know that advances in modern medicine have significantly improved outcomes for pregnant women over 40. A 2015 study found that as long as a woman attends regular prenatal checkups, maintains a healthy lifestyle throughout her pregnancy, and works with a medical professional to treat any pre-existing conditions, there is not a significantly increased risk of complications. 

Secure Your Chances of Conceiving Later in Life Now

What women over 40 may have to contend with, however, are lower fertility rates when trying to conceive. If you do a little planning ahead of time, though, this is something that you can easily overcome with the help of a fertility preservation specialist. 

It might sound like something out of a sci-fi novel, but in all honesty, oocyte preservation, better known as egg freezing, is all the rage. This process involves harvesting healthy eggs from your body while you’re younger in order to save them via freezing for later in life. When the time’s right, those eggs can be fertilized and then transferred back into the uterus. 

The Bottom Line

Medicine has truly come a long way since the days of finishing your family before your 20s. And the most exciting part is that medical technology is constantly evolving and improving, making what might sound like a far-fetched idea (like egg freezing) an achievable reality. 

It’s still important to do a little advanced planning, though, to increase your chances of successfully conceiving after 40. If egg freezing or other fertility options are something that you’re considering, talk to your doctor for more information and advice on where you and your partner can start. 

There are also a number of free resources available through the Fertility Preservation Program in Pittsburgh, which go into greater detail about the processes involved in freezing eggs, embryos, and sperm cells.