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Unplanned Pregnancy in Your 40s

When you hear “unplanned pregnancy,” do you think “teenager”? We’re not sure why that happens. In fact, most of our clients are NOT teens, with more than 10% being over age 35.

If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy in your 40s, we are here for you. Our offices are located in Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn, Naperville, West Chicago, and Wood Dale, Illinois. It would be our privilege to connect with you today.

Questions Asked by Women Who Are Scared About a Pregnancy at 40:

Could it be menopause? It is not unusual for women who have had regular menstrual cycles to begin skipping periods in their 40s. The average age for women to stop having periods is 51 years. That leaves a number of years where it’s hard to know whether a missed period could be a natural transition or a sign of pregnancy. It also makes it harder for women to know exactly how many weeks pregnant they are.*

If a woman is in her 40s, what is her chance of miscarriage? Mayo clinic offers this helpful information about the risk of natural miscarriage by age: “Women older than age 35 have a higher risk of miscarriage than do younger women. At age 35, you have about a 20 percent risk. At age 40, the risk is about 40 percent. And at age 45, it’s about 80 percent.”*

Is Down Syndrome more likely when the woman is in her 40s? The following estimate is provided from the March of Dimes:

  • At age 30, your risk is 1 in 940.
  • At age 35, your risk is 1 in 353.
  • At age 40, your risk is 1 in 85.
  • At age 45, your risk is 1 in 35.

Doctors will provide information about screening that is available to assess your specific likelihood of having a child with Down Syndrome. This includes screening that is available in the first trimester of pregnancy.*

What are other risks of carrying a pregnancy to term at an older age? Forgive us if we skirt this question a bit. As a limited medical clinic that focuses on early pregnancy care, we are not experts in obstetrical care. But that’s why we leave this question in our list. We know it is one that keeps women awake at night… which means surfing the internet… which means reading plenty of scary articles. We strongly recommend that the best way to gain reliable information on your personal risks is to discuss them with a trusted medical provider. Gathering reliable input from your doctor is one important piece in a decision-making process.

How Avenue Women’s Center Can Help:

Practical assistance for women facing possible pregnancy. Let’s start at the beginning – are you sure you’re pregnant? If you haven’t yet had your pregnancy confirmed, our free medical-grade pregnancy test will provide the answer you need. Are you considering termination and not ready to consult your OB? Perhaps our free limited medical ultrasound will be appropriate. Certainly, ultrasound is a clear way to assess length of pregnancy and also the miscarriage risk that’s specific to your pregnancy.

Support women need when navigating a pregnancy decision in their 40s. Very often, women in their 40s describe themselves as feeling “conflicted.” Their lives were going along just fine. They are enjoying their freedom and have plans for their future. Midnight diaper changes were not part of that plan. At the same time, they wonder if this happened for a reason. Could a changed future actually be their best plan? What options are even available for terminations now? It is hard to sort through all of those questions, feelings, and fears. Avenue Women’s Center provides a safe place to process your situation. Our free consultations are led privately, by caring, unbiased staff members. We are dedicated to providing you with the support you need as you assess your preferences, and determine your best course of action for this pregnancy.

If you live in the Chicagoland area, we are here to assist you. We truly care about you and the challenges you are facing. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please contact us today.

The information provided here is general in nature.  It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center.  If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention.  Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.