These same women may be more likely to consider getting pregnant in their 30s and 40s due to advances in reproductive endocrinology. "Our toolbox and skills have increased, and we are helping them get pregnant into their 40s," she said. While some older women may have a difficult time getting pregnant, unplanned pregnancy can, and does, occur in this age group, she said.
"Women in the 40s think they can't get pregnant anymore and have unprotected intercourse, but they can," Rabin said. "If you are having intercourse and don't want to be pregnant, use contraception."
There are risks associated with pregnancy at older ages, she added. "Genetic issues increase as eggs age, but we have better testing for genetic disorders today," Rabin said. "Older women are also more likely to develop pregnancy-related complications, but good prenatal care can help identify these conditions early and monitor women so that they have a healthy pregnancy."
Learn about teen pregnancy, contraception and sexual health at the Guttmacher Institute.
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