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    How Old Is Too Old to Have a Baby? A Pregnancy Checklist

    Updated 02 February 2023 |
    Published 17 April 2019
    Fact Checked
    Reviewed by Irina Ilyich, Flo lead medical advisor, Lithuania
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    These days, many people are waiting longer to have babies than previous generations. In recent decades, more and more people are having babies at an older age. Because of that, lots of people have asked: How old is too old to have a baby?

    Read this article to learn more about age, fertility, and how to plan for pregnancy.

    When to have a baby: The best time to get pregnant

    There isn’t a hard and fast rule that determines the best time to get pregnant. Feeling ready to try for a baby is a personal choice that can be affected by many factors. Future parents tend to consider financial stability, housing, career choices, and personal goals when deciding if they’re ready to bring a new life into the world.

    But if we’re talking about fertility, age does matter. During each month of trying, a healthy 30-year-old has a 20-percent chance of becoming pregnant naturally. By age 40, the chance of conceiving naturally is around 5 percent per cycle. 

    This is because, from birth, the ovaries already contain all the eggs a person will have in their lifetime. With age, the quantity and quality of those eggs decline.

    That doesn’t mean that pregnancy isn’t possible after someone is 35 or 40 years old. However, age is an important factor to keep in mind if you’re planning your family.

    How does age affect conception?

    Get answers to the most common questions and more

    How old is too old to have a baby?

    As a person gets older, the risks associated with pregnancy also increase. The risk of miscarriage among 40-year-olds is approximately 40 to 50 percent. The chance of miscarriage when a person is under 30 years old is 15 to 20 percent.

    The risk of developing pregnancy-related conditions also increases with age. After the age of 40, there’s an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes and preeclampsia during pregnancy. Older maternal age has also been found to lead to a higher risk of premature births and emergency