Chances of getting pregnant at 47

I am 47 years old and during my thirties had issues with myomas, ovarian cysts and endometriosis. I have had 5 surgeries and now at 47 I have a healthy normal uterus, occasional cysts that remedy themselves and my blood tests show no pre-menopause signals – although my right ovary sometimes looks a bit dormant on scans every so often.

Can you please advise on my possibilities of:

1. Natural conception

2. What is available IVF wise (I do not want to go down the donor egg route if possible but if you could advise the cut off age for this should I decide to reconsider)

3. What is the miscarriage rate for my age?

4. Would I require C section delivery and would I be looking at removal of my uterus as a result due to it having 5 surgeries (4 keyhole, 1 full) my last full surgery did give complications of infection.

Our Expert's Answer

This information was published 5 years, 3 months ago and was correct at the time of publication. It may not reflect our current practices or regulations.

Please note that all the answers we give are on a generic basis only, as we cannot provide more in-depth answers without access to your medical history. If you need a more detailed response, tailored to you, we would recommend a consultation with one of our Fertility Specialists for more comprehensive medical advice.

1. Natural conception 

You may be able to conceive naturally, but chances are generally low. You need to have regular periods with ovulation (you can trace the using ovulation predictor urine kit.) If you have had operations it is important to check the patency of your fallopian tubes. Also if you try naturally, a semen analysis test is paramount as low sperm quality often impairs pregnancy chances. The main problem is usually the egg quality which is impaired in age. Also miscarriage rate and chromosomal abnormality rate is very high for the same reasons.

2. What is available IVF wise (I do not want to go down the donor egg route if possible but if you could advise the cut off age for this should I decide to reconsider)

IVF treatment is not offered to women above age 45 as no pregnancy happened above this age. You may continue to have regular ovulation but IVF treatment is of no extra benefit.

3. What is the miscarriage rate for my age?

The risk of Down's Syndrome is around 1:30 which is 10 times higher than at age 35. As the main reason for miscarriage is chromosomal abnormality we see similarly very high miscarriage rate.

4. Would I require C section delivery and would I be looking at removal of my uterus as a result due to it having 5 surgeries (4 keyhole, 1 full) my last full surgery did give complications of infection.

You don't necessary need caesarean section just because of your age. It is more likely to end up in caesarean section because of some other factors.

To summarise: Your natural conception chances are very slim and IVF treatment is not helpful. We are very proud of our donor egg program and pregnancy rates are very promising. We would be pleased to meet you and discuss your options.