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Let's see what complications you may have with a later pregnancy, and answers the most common questions.
Is It Difficult to Get Pregnant with Age?
Age is the main factor that affects fertility, that is, the ability to conceive, bear and give birth to a child. The supply of eggs in the female body is limited, and over time their quantity and quality gradually decrease.
In addition, over the years, various diseases accumulate and affect pregnancy: gynecological (for example, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, infections, adhesions), and general (hypertension, diabetes). Of course, it reduces the chances of conceiving a child.
On average, fertility begins to decline at the age of 32, and after 37, this process is markedly accelerated. So, at 25 years old, 87.5 percent of women can get pregnant. At 30 years - 83.9 percent, in 35 - 73.3 percent, and at 40 years - only 49.4 percent.
It should be noted that in the issue of childbirth the role is played by the age of both partners. Male fertility also declines over time, but this happens after the age of 40 and is much slower. This is also due to physiology and lifestyle. The number and quality of sperm decrease. The probability of genetic diseases and neurological disorders in the unborn child, such as epilepsy and autism, also increases with the age of the father.
What Are the Risks of Late Pregnancy?
Over the years, not only the ovulatory reserve but also the resources of the body as a whole, get depleted. Chronic diseases and excess weight appears, the hormonal background changes, and the body recovers more slowly after an illness.
And all this may affect the course of pregnancy, that is, the health of both the mother and the future baby. Consider what problems mature mothers may face:
Gestational diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, it develops more often at an older age. So, if up to 25 years the risk of the disease is 2.59 percent, then in 35 to 40, it increases to 4.38 percent, and after 40 years - 15.9 percent. If diabetes is left untreated, it can provoke excessive growth of the fetus, premature labor, and other complications in the child.
High blood pressure. Appears more often in women older than 35. American researchers have found a delayed negative effect of late childbirth on the cardiovascular system. In women who gave birth after the age of 40, the risk of stroke in the future was 60 percent higher than the risk of hemorrhagic stroke in the post-menopausal women.
Spontaneous miscarriages and fetal death in the womb. These risks are almost doubled after 40 years of advanced maternal age and adverse perinatal outcome, however, in healthy women at any age, this figure is still lower.
Premature birth. The probability of delivery in the early stages is slightly higher after the age of 35. More often, doctors blame it on age, however, a recent study by Finnish researchers refutes this relationship and explains premature birth by a combination of various factors and associated diseases.
Chromosomal abnormalities in the child. The genetic material of both parents "is aging," so the older the couple, the higher the risk of having a baby with Down Syndrome and other disorders. Up to the age of 25, this occurs in 1 out of 1,587 cases, at 35 it’s 1 out of 390, and after 40, it’s 1 out of 122.
Advantages of Late Pregnancy
The main advantage of getting pregnant later in life is that by that point it’s really desired, and the child is born into a family where parents are ready to take on this role. Such children develop socially and learn better.
Researchers say that older fathers have children with relatively high IQ. They are easier to focus on their own interests and less willing to fit into public standards.
Are there advantages for the parents? Of course. Mothers are not only calmer during pregnancy, but also don’t raise their voice at them when disciplining. Scientists even judge the level of happiness from the birth of children, which, according to their estimates, is higher in adulthood.