Let’s look at some of the challenges that women in their 30s may have to face when trying to get pregnant.
35 is the age when infertility begins to set in. It is also the age when risks are higher.
What are some of the risk factors and hurdles that woman thinking about late pregnancies have to contend with?
Conception itself may become a challenge: Women are born with a limited number of eggs. As they age and get closer to their 30s and mid-thirties, eggs decline in quality and quantity. Ovulation becomes infrequent and this affects fertility. A woman in her mid-thirties or beyond may take a year or two to conceive, even after having unprotected sex twice a week! So if you’re over 35 years and having trouble conceiving, it’s best to consult with your health consultant and seek advice.
Twins and Triplets: The chances of multiple pregnancy increases in the mid and late thirties, even though a woman is not on any fertility treatments. There is also an increased chance of babies being born premature and/or with low birth weight.
C-section: Older women are easily prone to pregnancy complications like placenta praevia (a condition in which the placenta blocks the cervix) which may lead to excessive bleeding and complications that may necessitate a c-section delivery.
Longer labour: Older women are like to have longer labor, sometimes going up to more than 20 hours. One of the main reasons for this could be weakened uterus muscles that don’t work as efficiently as they used to.
Gestational Diabetes: This type of diabetes develops only during pregnancy. The sugar level shoots up and the body is unable to produce enough insulin to break it down. Though it is a temporary condition, it is common in women who get pregnant after the age 35. If not treated properly, gestational diabetes could have an adverse affect and cause the baby to grow large – making natural delivery hard – sometimes causing injuries.
Blood Pressure: Older women are prone to age related conditions like blood pressure which can complicate pregnancy and impact labour.
Miscarriage: Women in their mid thirties are more likely to have a miscarriage than women in their twenties. Statistics show that a woman has about 20 percent risk of miscarriage at 35 years and 80 percent risk of miscarriage at 45 years. This is primarily due to chromosomal abnormalities that occur with age.
High Risk of birth defects: As age increase, genetic problems and chromosomal abnormalities also are also high. The risk of having a baby with Down Syndrome is high in women who consider pregnancy after 35. Prenatal examinations, screen tests and regular checkups can detect chromosomal complications early on.
How to have a healthy pregnancy after 35
Leading a healthy lifestyle and making careful choices is one of the best ways to ensure a safe pregnancy – and a healthy delivery.
Go for a pre-conception check-up: Your health consultant needs to check your overall health and give you the green signal to conceive. This also the time to discuss your concerns about fertility and pregnancy issues, if you’re having trouble conceiving.
Go for regular pre-natal check-ups: This will help the doctor monitor your health as well as keep track of the baby’s progress
Start on pre-natal vitamins: Pre-natal vitamins will reduce the risks of birth defects like spinabifada. At least 1 mg of folic acid is recommended everyday, 3 months prior to getting pregnant. This however, will continue throughout pregnancy and your health provider will decide on the dosage you need to take.
Keep a check on your weight gain: A controlled and modest weight gain is important to avoid complications like gestational diabetes that comes with being overweight. It also makes it easier to shed those extras after having a baby. So work in tandem with your doctor or dietician who can help you gain the right amount of weight.
Keep away from alcohol, smoking and drugs: It is a known fact that all these can have a negative impact on pregnancy and baby’s health.