GETTING PREGNANT AFTER 35: FERTILITY, RISKS AND WHAT TO EXPECT
30’s is the new 20’s when it comes to conceiving. Owing to career and various other factors, women tend to postpone their pregnancy. Having a baby after 35 is no more a one-off affair. There are a lot of women who take this decision. Though there is no harm going in for late pregnancy, things may not go as planned which can leave you frustrated.
Delaying your pregnancy provides you with various advantages like advanced career option, more free time and a carefree lifestyle. But it provides the biggest disadvantage, i.e., decreased fertility. Once you decide to conceive, you may not be able to get pregnant in your first or second attempt. Hence, you should think twice or thrice before taking this life changing decision.
Decreased fertility is one of the factors that affect pregnancy post 30's. This condition can be due to any of the following factors:
• Infrequent ovulation: Ovulation becomes less frequent once you cross your 30’s. Though menstruation may be regular, there are chances that there is no release of eggs at all during a cycle. Moreover, the quality of egg released will also be inferior making it less likely to get fertilized.
• Endometriosis: Women above the age of 35 is at increased risk of developing Endometriosis. Endometriosis occurs when the uterus lining, instead of shedding from the uterus, attaches itself to other organs outside the uterus. This process can lead to severe bleeding and cause a lot of discomforts.
• Uterine disorders: Uterine disorders like Poly Cystic Ovarian Disorder (PCOD), Fibroids, pelvic inflammatory diseases and scar tissues can affect the fertility of a person.
• Other factors: In addition to this, your general health also plays a very crucial role in fertility. If you have diabetes or has hypertension, then there is a chance that your fertility might dwindle.
As the age increases, the risk involved in pregnancy also increases. The following are few of the risk involved in late pregnancy
• Miscarriage: If you have abdominal pain or vaginal bleeding, it is a sign that you are undergoing an abortion. Studies have shown that a woman above the age of 35 has more chances of miscarriage than a younger woman.
• Premature delivery and stillbirth: Sometimes the baby might be delivered before the due date, or the baby might come out as a stillborn.
• Ectopic pregnancy: In an ectopic pregnancy, a fertilized egg attaches itself outside the uterus due to damaged or blocked fallopian tube. In such a case, the pregnancy is terminated to prevent further complications.
• Chromosomal problem: This can result in having babies with Down Syndrome, Turner’s Syndrome and also result in molar pregnancy.
• Other conditions threatening pregnancy: Women above the age of 35 develop conditions like gestational diabetics and high blood pressure that pose a threat to the pregnancy.
• C-section: Though C-section is quite common nowadays, it has its risk factor as it is like an open surgery and can result in infection and injury to internal organs.
What to expect?
Though every pregnant mother should stay positive, a pregnant mother above the age of 35 should remain practical and understand the risk involved in the pregnancy. If you are one such mother, then you can expect:
- A cesarian section
- A greater chance of twin birth
- A drastic emotional change caused as a result of hormonal fluctuation
Thanks to advancement in technology, it is now possible to understand almost all pregnancy complications beforehand itself thereby reducing the risk factor. Going for regular pre-natal check-ups helps your doctor in diagnosing any pregnancy threatening elements and thereby treating it at the right time. Staying positive and being physically and mentally fit goes a long way in making the pregnancy and delivery a successful one.