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Can you get pregnant at 48?

Getting pregnant at 48 or older can be challenging but is still possible for some women. The chances of conception at this age are lower compared to younger women, but pregnancy can still occur under the right circumstances.

What are the chances of getting pregnant at 48?

A woman’s fertility declines steadily after age 35 and drops sharply after 40. By 48, chances of getting pregnant naturally are very low.

According to research, the likelihood of getting pregnant naturally at 48 is:

  • 5% per menstrual cycle at 48
  • 1-2% per menstrual cycle at 50

Factors that affect chances of conception include:

  • Egg quality and number – Women are born with all the eggs they will ever have. By 48, the number and quality of remaining eggs is greatly diminished.
  • Hormone levels – Hormones that regulate ovulation and menstrual cycles change with age, making conception harder.
  • Uterine health – Conditions like fibroids become more common with age and can affect implantation.
  • Existing health issues – Medical conditions like endometriosis or PCOS also impact fertility.
  • Partner’s age – Male fertility also declines with age, further reducing chances.

While individual chances are low, pregnancy is still possible in a small percentage of women at this age, particularly with medical assistance.

What options may help increase chances?

There are a few options women over 48 may consider if they want to try to conceive, including:

  • Fertility treatments – Procedures like IVF using donor eggs can significantly improve chances of pregnancy. Success rates range from 40-60% per cycle using donor eggs.
  • Donor eggs – Egg donation with IVF has much higher success rates after 48. Fresh eggs from a younger donor can increase chances.
  • Donor embryos – Embryo donation from previously frozen embryos can result in pregnancy without IVF.
  • Surrogacy – Using a gestational carrier may help if uterine health impacts ability to carry a pregnancy.

Consulting a fertility specialist can help determine which options may be best based on individual factors.

What are the risks of pregnancy after 48?

Pregnancy later in life does carry additional health risks, including:

  • Genetic issues – Risks of chromosomal abnormalities like Down syndrome increase.
  • Preeclampsia – Older women have higher chances of developing this dangerous blood pressure condition.
  • Gestational diabetes – Chances of developing diabetes during pregnancy rise after age 45.
  • Placental problems – Issues like placenta previa and placental abruption are more common.
  • Preterm birth – Risk of premature delivery and low birth weight babies increases.
  • Stillbirth – Chances of stillbirth are higher in older women.
  • Cesarean delivery – More C-sections are often needed due to complications.

Intensive monitoring and prenatal testing can help detect issues early for closer oversight. Amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling can diagnose fetal chromosomal disorders.

What should I consider before attempting pregnancy after 48?

Important things to consider include:

  • Your health – Ensure any medical issues that could impact pregnancy are well-controlled beforehand.
  • Screening tests – Have an overall health assessment to uncover any concerns.
  • Lifestyle factors – Optimize health by maintaining a healthy BMI, good diet, and exercise routine.
  • Doctors guidance – Get obstetric guidance to understand all the risks and have close monitoring.
  • Delivery plan – Understand if a C-section or early delivery may become necessary.
  • Support system – Have practical and emotional support to help manage a higher-risk pregnancy.
  • Childcare plan – Consider your strength and energy levels for caring for a newborn later in life.

Thorough preparation and counseling can assist in making an informed decision about attempting pregnancy over 48.

Age Chance of Pregnancy Each Cycle
45 5%
46 2-4%
47 1-3%
48 1-2%

Risks of Pregnancy After Age 45

Risk Details
Gestational Diabetes Risk rises from 3-4% under age 45 to 13-21% over 45
Preeclampsia Risk increases from 3-4% to 15-20% after 45
Placental Abruption Chance rises from .8% to 2% after age 45
Cesarean Delivery 60% of births to women over 45 are C-sections vs 32% under 35


Getting pregnant at 48 or older is challenging but can still occur, especially with medical assistance. While risks to mother and baby increase, with proper precautions and monitoring, women can successfully carry pregnancies later in life. Thorough counseling helps women make informed choices about attempting conception after the age of 48.