Technically, women who are ovulating and do not have other fertility problems are able to get pregnant right up until their menopause. There is no one right answer to the question of when women are too old to have a baby although, seemingly, almost everyone has an opinion on this subject. Some think that 45 is too old to conceive, while others draw the line at at 40. At the same time, many women in their forties are overjoyed to be pregnant and certainly do not feel too old. Yet others are becoming part of a growing global trend to conceive with the help of fertility treatments, after having been through the menopause.
A Romanian single mother by choice, who conceived with the help of donor sperm and fertility treatments in her sixties, is a good example of how modern technology might mean that women are no longer technically too old to become mothers at all, ever! Look at "Romanian IVF mother, 72, wants another child?" to read about her. Most people would agree that you are too old to have a baby by the time you reach 60, yet some are making this choice. Once we have passed the "milestone" of our 35th birthday, women's fertility steadily decreases. It might take us longer to get pregnant, and we are more likely to need fertility treatments to conceive the older we get. The risks of chromosomal defects like Down Syndrome also go up as we age. But when we are making personal decisions on when we are too old to try for a baby, we have to look further than conception and pregnancy alone.
Will you still be able to play football with your child when he or she is 10? Are you likely to still be around by the time your child is an adult? In the case of the Romanian mom who became pregnant in her late sixties, the answer is obviously no. There is a big difference between getting pregnant at 40 and at 60, but even then, not every 40 year old, and every 60 year old, are the same. We might all have opinions on this subject, and it is all too easy to judge other people especially if you are in your twenties or thirties! At the end of the day, you are too old to have a baby when you think you are.