Getting Pregnant at 39

(This is a question I received from Shannon, followed by my answer.)


Question:  I will try to give you the Reader’s Digest version to shorten my question.

I am 39 and have a wonderful healthy little boy, Luke, who is almost 13 months. I went on the Mirena IUD after he was born and had that taken out in January. I also weaned my son from nursing around 11 months, as I knew I was wanting to try to get pregnant. I had a period on Jan 30th and began tracking my cycle.

I do think I was pregnant in February, and although I never had a positive test, I had symptoms. My breasts were tender, and I had a dull headache and backache. I was so excited to test, then I felt something weird in my abdomen one day at work. I had lifted something heavy and felt some sensations that I now think were a miscarriage.

Anyway, I was late the next month only about 4 days. I began tracking again. We had no luck in March. I felt myself ovulate (I think). My husband and I made love on days 9 and 10 and I think we did on day 12 and possibly on day 14.

I started one day early this month, and think I could have been off on my ovulation days. I did not use a kit and am not charting. I called my OB (who I LOVE!) He thinks I could have been pregnant and said all of this was a good sign. I am going in on day 3, which is tomorrow, to have some bloodwork done, and then he wants me to come in on day 10 to see if he can see when I am ovulating and when we should have sex.

Lastly, my hubby is on Lexapro for depression. He and I have never had issues when it comes to orgasm, but this last month it happened 2 times. He is great, and I am hoping it is not me putting pressure on him. One day was the day before ovulation.

Anyways, I really want to get pregnant again fast. My OB is great and will be as aggressive as we want to be. I guess all the tests and ultrasound on day 10 will all be good things.

Am I jumping the gun too soon? If we got pregnant once, can it happen again and fast? Did it happen a couple of months ago? I really need to try to stop stressing (easier said than done!!!!)

– Shannon – Littleton, Colorado


My Answer

I think it’s too soon for intervention, Shannon.

It’s possible that you miscarried, but chances are you didn’t do anything to cause it by lifting something.

When I was tracking my ovulation, it was not uncommon for me to be one or two days different from month to month, either by the actual ovulation date or by the luteal phase length leading up to my next period (luteal phase being the days between ovulation and the start of the next period).  So it doesn’t mean that you were off by when you thought ovulation was.

It is possible to put too much pressure on your husband.  I found it best to try not to let him know that it was “time,” although I know this can be very difficult to do.  Try not to stress too much over having intercourse enough times.  It’s not necessary to make love every day before ovulation.  Every other day is typically better anyway and gives your man time to “recharge.”

If you know in general when you ovulate (I would analyze my BBT chart to see what the typical pattern looked like for me), then you can kind of plan for tentative days to “get together.”

It’s good for the man to build up his sperm count for a few days leading up to the most fertile time for the woman, but try not to go too long (too long would be more than 5 days at a time).

Personally, I don’t think you need any intervention.  You haven’t really been trying that long since taking out your IUD. What’s it been – 2 or 3 cycles?

It took me 4 months of concentrated effort before I conceived my second son, which is really pretty good considering I was 41 at the time.

There are many different factors that go into conception, and all these factors need to line up just right to conceive in any given month.  Get all these factors in your favor as much as possible, and you should conceive in a few months.  I would give it at least 6 months before trying intervention.  Give your body a chance to do what it was made to do.

Hope that helps!

Please let me know if you have any more questions, and don’t hesitate to send your success story!

2 thoughts on “Getting Pregnant at 39

  1. Once again, thanks for an inspiring site. As I was reading Shannon’s story, I saw many similarities with my own life and my journey TTC. I’ve been tracking my ovulation every month. And a couple of times I thought, okay this is it, I’m having the symptoms surely. Only to have my periods the next day. Both my husband and I are 37. According to my doctor every thing is fine with me and I should not have any problems conceiving. However my husband had treatment for cancer in his mid twenties and we were told that this could have affected his fertility negatively. But we refuse to believe that this is true. So we will keep on trying and believing for our own bundle of joy!

  2. Hi Sally,

    Thank you very much for sharing. this story. We tried IVF twice. I was 39 when we went for consultation and the doctor recommended IVF right away. The second time around was when I turned 40. Today, my husband is very much excited to go to third time in a few months. I would like to try the natural way this time and not to submit to IVF anymore but scared to disappoint him. I hope and pray I could get prregnant soon so we won´t bother going to fertility clinic.

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