Pregnancy and Age

Posted by Lachmi Deb Roy on Sun, Feb 27, 2011  
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It is always a good time to have a baby whether you are in your twenties, thirties or forties. However since the chronological age is a factor that undoubtedly affects everything from conceiving to gestation to delivering and even your relationship with the new born, it is always important to consult the doctor before you take the big leap. It is a fact that there are variety of reasons like career, stability, late marriage, increased contraceptive opportunities and in creased availability of artificial reproductive techniques that are delaying pregnancy of a woman.

 

There are both advantages and disadvantages of getting pregnant at different ages. When you are in your twenties women are most fertile and they have 25 percent chances of conceiving each month. During this stage of their life women generally have regular cycles and they produces eggs, which ripen and are released by the ovaries on schedule each month. According to research decline in fertility in women starts as early as the late 20s.

 

Older women have an increased risk of abortions. This is because of the decline in the oocyte quality and changes in the uterine and hormonal functions associated with the normal aging process. These spontaneous abortions generally happen between 16 and 14cweeks of gestation. Spontaneous abortion for women in their early 30s is 15 per cent where as late 30s is 25 %.

 

The risk of congential malformations increases with increasing maternal age and this may lead to giving birth to a baby with Down’s Syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities.

 

Women over 35 years thinking of getting pregnant have a slight reason to worry. For with age comes a host of chronic problems. The incidence of chronic hypertensions is the most common medical problem encountered during this age. During this age there is a chance of ectopic pregnancy (when a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus) as well.

 

The prevalence of surgical and medical illnesses such as cancer, cardiac, renal and autoimmune disorders also increases with advancing maternal age. The incidence of both gestational diabetes and pre-existing diabetes and pre-existing diabetes mellitus increases 3-6 times in women over the age of 40 years.

 

Women above the age of 35 experience higher rates of hospitalization increased caesarean deliveries and pregnancy-related complications such as placental abruption, bleeding or spotting.

 

However if you are still considering getting pregnant during your late 30s and early 40s there are some lifestyle changes you should make.

 

  • Avoid smoking, drinking and drugs.
  • Do mild exercises and try to keep your weight under check even before you get pregnant.
  • Eat nutritious meal during and before your pregnancy at regular intervals.
  • Include vitamin supplements, especially folic acid, before and during pregnancy as it is said to reduce the birth defects in babies.
  • Avoid exposure to chemicals, heavy metals, toxic fumes and radiations and that applies both to men and women before they conceive.
  • Stay positive.

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