Also, women after 35 are more likely to have problems like endometriosis and uterine fibroids that make it harder for you to get pregnant. As men age, their sperm tend to swim slower and begin to lose their shape. Some older women trying to conceive may need more than just more time and help from Mother Nature. If so, several types of reproductive medicine may make pregnancy possible. And if you have any medical issues that could hurt your chances of conceiving, your doctor may advise that you get fertility help right away. They may suggest:.
If you are older than 40 years, an evaluation is recommended before trying to get pregnant. This advice is especially true if you have a problem that could affect fertility, such as endometriosis. During an infertility evaluation, you have physical exams and tests to try to find the cause of infertility. If a cause is found, treatment may be possible. In many cases, infertility can be successfully treated even if no cause is found. But the chances of success with these treatments decrease with age. Despite the challenges, many women older than 35 years can have healthy pregnancies and babies.
Seeing a health care professional before pregnancy and receiving good prenatal care during pregnancy are key. When you are pregnant, getting early and regular prenatal care may increase your chances of having a healthy baby.
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You should visit your ob-gyn or other health care professional regularly. If you have a preexisting medical condition or if a medical condition develops during pregnancy, you may need to have special tests or more frequent prenatal care visits. You also may need special care during labor and delivery.
Carrier Screening: A test done on a person without signs or symptoms to find out whether he or she carries a gene for a genetic disorder. Down Syndrome: A genetic disorder that causes abnormal features of the face and body, medical problems such as heart defects, and intellectual disability.
Most cases of Down syndrome are caused by an extra chromosome 21 trisomy Many children with Down syndrome live to adulthood. Embryos: The stage of prenatal development that starts at fertilization joining of an egg and sperm and lasts up to 8 weeks. Endometriosis: A condition in which tissue that lines the uterus is found outside of the uterus, usually on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other pelvic structures.
Fetus: The stage of prenatal development that starts 8 weeks after fertilization and lasts until the end of pregnancy. Fibroids: Growths, usually benign, that form in the muscle of the uterus. Folic Acid: A vitamin that has been shown to reduce the risk of certain birth defects when taken in sufficient amounts before and during pregnancy.
Getting Pregnant After 35: What Are My Chances?
Neural Tube Defects: Birth defects that result from incomplete development of the brain, spinal cord, or their coverings. Ovaries: The paired organs in the female reproductive system that contain the eggs released at ovulation and produce hormones. Preeclampsia: A disorder that can occur during pregnancy or after childbirth in which there is high blood pressure and other signs of organ injury, such as an abnormal amount of protein in the urine, a low number of platelets, abnormal kidney or liver function, pain over the upper abdomen, fluid in the lungs, or a severe headache or changes in vision.
Prenatal Care: A program of care for a pregnant woman before the birth of her baby. Screening Tests: Tests that look for possible signs of disease in people who do not have signs or symptoms. Uterus: A muscular organ located in the female pelvis that contains and nourishes the developing fetus during pregnancy. It is not intended as a statement of the standard of care, nor does it comprise all proper treatments or methods of care. Women are delivering healthy babies throughout their 30s and beyond.
The age of 35 is simply an age that certain risks become more worthy of discussion. While these risks become slightly more likely after hitting 35 years old, this does not mean that they will have a significant impact on everyone in their mid-thirties and older. Women are born with all the eggs they will ever have. As females age, the likelihood that they will get pregnant reduces due to the declining number of remaining eggs and their reduced quality. Fertility also declines in men with age due to declining sperm counts, motility, and semen volume.
These age-related factors combined can make it more difficult for women to become pregnant. One study , published in The New England Journal of Medicine , found that among women who received artificial insemination, 74 percent of those under 31 years old were pregnant within a year. However, this decreased to 61 percent of individuals between the ages of 31 to 34, and it further declined to 54 percent of women aged 35 and over. Certain genetic risks present more often in pregnancy as women age. For example, the rate of having a baby with Down syndrome accelerates with maternal age.
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While the rate of an embryo having Down syndrome at the week mark of pregnancy is 1 in 1, at age 25, this rises to 1 in at age 30 and 1 in by the age of 35 years. At the age of 40, the Down syndrome rate increases still to 1 in 53, and down to 1 in 19 embryos at age A study published in Nature Communications set out to investigate why older mothers have a heightened risk of giving birth to children with congenital anomalies that are characterized by abnormal chromosome numbers. Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in New York learned that the genetic process of recombination could be responsible for the increased risk of conditions such as Down syndrome.
Recombination is the process in which pairs of chromosomes exchange genetic material before separating. The team found that in older mothers, the process of recombination may be less regulated, which may lead to abnormal chromosome numbers in sex cells or large chromosomal rearrangements. The risk of miscarriage climbs gradually with the mother's age. Research published in the BMJ showed that risk of miscarriage is around 8.
The declining quality of women's eggs is thought to be responsible for the higher rates of miscarriage. Stillbirth is more likely in older women than younger women. A systematic review published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that stillbirth is around 1. Another study , examining data from , pregnancies in the United Kingdom, observed that the rate of stillbirth was 4.
Furthermore, the stillbirth rate has been shown to be higher in people having their first child and even higher in first-time moms aged 35 or older. Women aged 35 years and older are often recommended to be induced as they approach their due date because of the increasing risk of stillbirth with gestational age. Around 1 in 1, women under 35 years old have a stillbirth during 39 and 40 weeks of gestation, compared with 1. Research comparing pregnancy complications among women aged 18 to 34 years, 35 to 40 years, and 40 and over, found small increases in most pregnancy- and birth-related complications with age.
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The researchers identified increases in the risk of gestational diabetes , placenta previa, breech positioning of the baby, emergency cesarean delivery, postpartum hemorrhage, preterm birth, low birth weight, and high birth weight. Other research has found that risk of maternal mortality also increases with age. Research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference revealed that compared with women who go through pregnancy at a younger age, pregnant women aged 40 and older are at greater risk of ischemic stroke , hemorrhagic stroke, heart attack , and death from cardiovascular disease.