While getting pregnant over 35 is not banished, it can come with its set of complications. This is all the more true for women and couples today at large considering the average age for millennials to have babies is increasing.
Ovulation decreases in the mid-thirties and the size of the eggs decreases too. Women have certain number eggs from birth and the number of fertile eggs decreases with age. That’s why getting pregnant after 35 naturally can be a challenge for some women.
Thankfully, advancements in prenatal care and alternative conception methods have made it possible and simpler to treat fertility complications.
So, if you are pregnant over 35 or are planning to, here’s what you should know about conceiving at that age.
1. Risks Associated With Age
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It’s true that medical science has advanced and getting pregnant over 35 today is a much safer process. However, there are many risks associated with delaying childbirth and the chances of having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy child may also decline as you age.
It’s scientifically proven that women who give birth in their thirties, tend to have a larger chance of producing a baby with birth defects. The most plausible reason for it is that due to the mother’s age, the egg divides abnormally.
2. Health Complications
High blood pressure and diabetes can develop during pregnancy. Hence, women over the age of 30 are at an increased risk.
If you are pregnant and over 35 years old, it’s important that you get early and regular prenatal care so that you can get an early diagnosis and the proper treatment.
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Stillbirth or delivering a baby who’s died before birth is more common in women over 35. Older women are also more likely to have low-birth-weight babies (weighing less than 5.5 pounds at birth). Women getting pregnant over 35 are also at a higher risk of miscarriage before the pregnancy completes the 20th week.
4. Birth Defects
Experts suggest that birth defects can be seen more commonly in late pregnancies, particularly Down Syndrome. These are conditions present in the baby right from birth and can affect the shape or function of one or more parts of the body.
They can also cause physical or learning disabilities in the child.
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5. Caesarean Birth
While getting pregnant after 35 naturally is not impossible, chances are low for a vaginal birth. Instead, women may need to undergo a Caesarean. A C-section does come with its own set of risks including an infection or reaction to anaesthesia.
While chances are extremely low that you will contract any of these complications, you need to factor them in before taking a decision.
Do note that this is in no way to discourage women over the age of 35 from getting pregnant. Instead, it’s about giving a clear picture of what kind of complications you may have to deal with. It’s a good idea for a woman to meet with their doctor for a consultation.
A detailed medical history of both prospective parents can identify conditions that might affect the health of the mother and baby. Moreover, it’s a chance to check for pregnancy and get some blood tests, such as for rubella immunity, and screening tests, such as a cervical smear, carried out before you get pregnant.
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