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Strong desire for child at 41yrs. Are there risks?

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I am a 41 year old female and have 2 children. I have such a strong desire for a third child but am worried about all the risks due to my age. In your experience, is this a dumb idea? Are the risks really high for someone my age? I had 2 healthy pregnancies and 1 blighted ovum almost 3 years ago. I will be 42 in June and so therefore 42 at delivery if we move forward. I am so torn.


Stacy in Texas

Category: Infertility Specialist

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Category: Infertility Specialist
 28 Doctors Online

Hello Stacy
Thanks for posting your query at
Well, let me put the facts into perspective for you.
Childbearing itself is not easy at 42, as your ovarian reserve ( capacity to produce good quality and number of eggs ) declines with age.
Next, miscarriages are more common as egg quality is poor at this age.
In case the pregnancy continues normally, chances of complications increase manifold - premature labour, abnormal presentation of baby, abruption of placenta, placenta previa, increased risk of C section, increased chances of haemorrhage during delivery, hypertension, diabetes etc - all these risks increase at this age.
Yes, the risks are high, there is no point taking on these risks when you already have 2 healthy kids and a complete life.
However, if you are willing to go ahead with full understanding of these calculated risks, then it is your personal choice.
All the best
Please feel free to discuss further.

Patient replied :

Since I have had 2 healthy children though, are my odds for having another healthy child good too? Does that factor in at all? I am 5' 3" and 120 lbs with no underlying health issues. As an infertility specialist, don't you see 41 year old pregnant women quite frequently?
thanks, stacy in Dallas

also, I will be 41 for the majority of the pregnancy - I didn't think that the day you turned 40 everything magically and suddenly became dangerous but that it was just an overall increase in risk?

Yes, one does see 41 year old pregnant quite frequently, that does not negate the risks !
And most of them are not women with two prior healthy kids.
Your having two healthy pregnancies prior does factor in, it reduces the odds of having recurrent complications .
However, it does not mean that the risks of the conditions that exist, are not there.
THey are very much present, and any lady who takes on a pregnancy at 41, with or without fertility aid, takes it on having understood the attendant risks.
That is all I meant to emphasize.

Dr. Aarti Vazirani
Category: Infertility Specialist
Residency: Obstetrics & Gynecolog, BJMC,Civil hospital, Ahmedabad, 2008
Post Graduate: MS (Obstetrics & Gynecology), B.J. Medical College, Ahmedabad, 2008
Medical School: MBBS, B.J. Medical College, Ahmedabad, 2004
Dr. Aarti Vazirani and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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