There are both risks of pregnancy after 35 and benefits of postponing motherhood to this age. Women often get perturbed when doctors refer to pregnancy over 35 years of age as advanced maternal age. Rather than getting perturbed women should attempt to understand the underlying risks of conceiving late. Needless to say doctors are the best to judge a woman’s physical health and monitor pregnancy to prevent and treat complications.
What are some of the problems and risks associated with pregnancy after 35 years of age?
Infertility is more common in women as they age. As we age, our fertility naturally declines. Women who postpone their decision to have a baby often are surprised when they are unable to conceive immediately. This adds to their worry and anxiety. Instead of getting anxious it is best to consult a doctor if a woman is unable to conceive even after six months of trying.
b) Diabetes and blood pressure
Chances of suffering from certain health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure significantly increase with age. Such conditions often begin to affect women after the age of 30. Getting pregnant with these health conditions poses a number of risks.
c) Birth defects
Incidence of certain chromosomal birth defects is more common in older mothers. To quote an example a 20 years old woman has a 1 in 1250 chance of having a baby with Down’s syndrome. This probability increases to 1 in 400 for a women aged 35 and 1 in 100 for a woman of 40 years of age.
d) Miscarriage and stillbirth
Miscarriage and stillbirths are common in older women compared to young ones.
e) Complications during pregnancy
Complications happen more often in older women. Two of the most common and serious complications are gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia is also referred to as pregnancy induced hypertension. These conditions are normally monitored very closely by doctors to keep it under check.
As the age of the mother increases Cesarean rates too tend to rise. Statistically around 28% of women over the age of 35 undergo Cesarean as compared to only 10% of women under the age of 25.
Although there are increased risks of pregnancy after 35 years of age, most babies born to older mothers are normally healthy. After taking into consideration the age and physical condition of the mother, doctors monitor their health and suggest additional testing, wherever required. It is indeed possible to have a baby after 35 normally all that you need to do is to get regular prenatal care, eat a healthy diet and most importantly enjoy your pregnancy.
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