Pregnancy difficulties can happen at any age. However, women 35 and over are more likely to have difficulties. Indeed, the older one gets, the more difficult it is to conceive. Here are some of the risks that older mothers face.
Women are born with approximately four-million eggs. They lose an egg each month after hitting puberty. Experts say the best time to conceive is during the twenties. By the time a woman reaches 35, eggs have been releasing and aging for years. In addition, irregular ovulation develops with age. This means there may not be a chance to get pregnant every month. Irregular ovulation also increases the chances of having multiple births.
Medical advances offer a lot of hope to infertile couples. IVF Treatment is an option and programs are available for those willing to donate eggs. Anyone who meets the donation criteria can receive at least $5,000 in compensation.
The chance of having a baby with chromosomal problems increases after age 35. One of the main concerns is Down Syndrome. The odds of having a baby with Down Syndrome is 1 in 1,250 at 25. On the other hand, a 35-year-old has a 1 in 400 chance. Further, other conditions like Cystic Fibrosis and Tay-Sachs Disease are a concern. Doctors may order an amniocentesis to check for problems. However, the test carries a slight risk of causing a miscarriage.
Sadly, aging eggs increase the chances of having a miscarriage. Miscarriage usually occurs in the first few weeks of pregnancy. Indeed, a 45-year-old woman has an 80 percent chance of losing the pregnancy. In addition, the risk of stillbirth increases with age. Women over 35 are more likely to have premature babies. Therefore, the baby’s birth weight may be lower than the optimal weight.
Vaginal dryness may occur in older women and it decreases the ability to conceive. Cervical mucus has the consistency of egg whites during ovulation. Egg white cervical mucus is necessary for sperm to live and swim from the cervix into the uterus. Interestingly, men have similar issues. Aging sperm are shaped irregularly and swim slower. Women can improve the quality of cervical mucus by taking a synthetic hormone.
Older women are more likely to have physical conditions that make conceiving more difficult. For instance, fibroids are a common problem that makes it tougher to get pregnant. Likewise, endometriosis and obesity can cause infertility. In addition, women over 35 are more likely to have problems like placenta previa. Placenta previa happens when the placenta covers the entire cervix. This increases the likelihood of heavy bleeding during childbirth.
Older mothers are more likely to have a serious health condition. Pregnancy means the mother may have to stop taking medication. For instance, rheumatoid arthritis sufferers must stop taking meds when they’re trying to conceive. Those with diabetes, type 1 or type 2, are at risk of developing pregnancy complications. In fact, uncontrolled diabetes puts the baby at risk of having birth defects. Hypertension can be difficult to manage during pregnancy because the body’s blood volume increases. The key to a successful pregnancy is controlling pre-existing conditions.
A woman is at the peak of her fertility in her twenties. Waiting to have children is a personal decision. However, be aware that older women face more risks during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about whether you should wait.