Later Childbearing: What is Important to Know for Those over 35
As medicine continues to improve and allows women in their 30s, and even 40s, the opportunity to continue having children there are concerns which must be addressed. The two largest concerns include lessened fertility and health problems; let’s look closer at each of these.
There truly is no precise age at which we can say women become less fertile. However, when women enter their 30s fertility does tend to decrease, as does it in men also. This decrease occurs due to less frequent ovulation, more difficulty in fertilizing eggs and an increased chance of blocked tubes in older women. When looking at health problems, you should be aware that some women dealing with high blood pressure or diabetes may experience increased complications due to the new demands placed on a woman’s body during pregnancy. The chance of developing gestational diabetes during pregnancy is also increased in older women and they are more likely to need to give birth through cesarean delivery.
The best way to handle having a baby over the age of 35 is proper preparation. Maintaining good care prior to pregnancy will help and preconception care will allow a chance to find any risks or medical issues you may have. If you make sure to begin prenatal care early and seek the advice of your physician regularly, many possible issues can be resolved and dealt with prior to conception.
Additionally, genetic counseling is available for women looking to conceive over the age of 35. Counseling is performed by doctors and nurses which involves obtaining a detailed family history and occasionally a physical exam with lab testing. This testing can help determine if the couple is at risk of having a child with a birth defect.
It is important to note that will this information is important; most women have healthy pregnancies and normal babies. In most cases, older women are able to have a safe, healthy pregnancy. If you are discussing trying to have a baby and are over the age of 35, be sure to come in and discuss any concerns you are having. Knowledge is the first step to having a safe, successful pregnancy.