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With more fertility treatments available, like IVF with donor eggs, an increasing number of women is expecting a baby in their late forties and beyond. The chances of getting pregnant naturally greatly decline each year after a woman reaches 40, but make no mistake about it some women get pregnant naturally in their 50s as well!

No matter how you got pregnant, what can you expect from your pregnancy when you have seen 50? An acquaintance of mine had been using naturally family planning very successfully for many years, mainly relying on the signals her cervical mucus gave her to avoid getting pregnant. She got pregnant shortly before her 50th birthday... in hindsight apparently because she was in the beginning stages of the menopause and her cervical mucus "deceived" her.

She had already had three kids, with the oldest being 13 when she got pregnant again. I share this story here with only one purpose: it is not safe to assume that a pregnant woman over 50 must have had IVF to get pregnant. Indeed, it can happen spontaneously, and it doesn't have to be planned for at all. There were cases of women over 50 getting pregnant in 1880, 1899, and even in 1669. Those women obviously did not have IVF or an egg donor. As for IVF, there are cases of women in their 60s and 70s giving birth after IVF in India and Romania.

Being pregnant after 50 will almost definitely mean being labeled as a "high risk" patient and receiving more frequent prenatal care appointments. You may also be strongly urged to undergo prenatal screening and diagnostic tests for chromosomal abnormalities and birth defects. Women who are expecting a baby in their 50s will also generally have more severe pregnancy signs and symptoms, and feel less energized during their pregnancy. This may mean more back pain, joint paint, and pelvic complaints. Still, fertility experts say that pregnancy outcomes can be very good with careful care.

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