Women are increasingly choosing to become pregnany at a later age. This has several reasons; work and career, still busy with study or promotion, no suitable partner, financial worries. The average age at which women have their first child increased for decades, until 2004, since then it has remained about the same. The average age in the US is now 26 and 28 in the UK.
Some things to keep in mind
There are a few things to keep in mind as you if you want to be pregnant after 35. The risk of miscarriage increases increases as you get older. Complications occur during pregnancy and childbirth in relation to age, and the chance of a child with Down syndrome increases as the age of the woman ages. After 35 there is a marked increase in the risk of pre-eclampsia. There is also a higher chance of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure, a higher load of the kidney and liver function, and premature birth. Caesarean sections are also riskier
Despite these drawbacks, it is true that women over 35 are having more and more children. About one-sixth of all children are born to mothers aged 35 years or older. And to be honest: a pregnancy at any age is not without risks. The chance that you as an older pregnant woman will bring a healthy baby is far greater than the risk of complications. You must, however, take into account the possibilities and, therefore, ensure that you are healthy as can be.
Fertility decreases with age
The older the woman is, the amount of available oocytes decreases. Congenital anomalies will increase slightly. The chances of a spontaneous pregnancy in women between 35 and 38 years has dropped to 50 percent. Fortunately, medical technology has a number of possible solutions for women with impaired fertility, however, the success rate decreases with the increasing of the age of the woman.
Not just from fertility treatment, but from your own natural body! The chance of having twins increases as you age.
Many people overestimate the chance of Down syndrome and other risks to the child caused by the advanced age of the mother. In reality, the risk increases with age gradually. At the age of 35, the chance of having a baby with Down syndrome is less than 0.5 percent. Then the risk rises to about 3 percent by the age of 45. It's good to be up front with your partner to discuss what you would do if the such a situation arises.
Low medical risk to healthy mothers
For a healthy woman who is pregnant, the medical risks are minimal. There is however a slightly increased risk of gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and a cesarean section. A number of concerns about the health of the mother at a pregnancy at an advanced age are related to disorders that are more common as we age, especially diabetes and high blood pressure. If you have these conditions before the pregnancy, the risks remain for you and baby.
GP and Midwife advice
It is important to find out what impact your medical condition has on pregnancy and what impact a pregnancy will have on your own health. Any woman over age 35 who plans to become pregnant, should first seek the advice of their doctor or a midwife. This is especially true for women who know they have medical problems. Good health can prevent many problems.