Pregnancy in the body is a traumatic event especially if the body is aging. According to medical experts, there are certain problems more apt to occur when childbearing is delayed. Achieving pregnancy may be more difficult for many reasons.
Due to aging, which can affect a woman’s eggs, pregnancy after 35 carries a higher risk of having a baby with genetic abnormalities.
The biggest obstacle for women age 35 or older may be getting pregnant in the first place. Fertility rates begin to decline gradually at age 30, more so at 35, and markedly at age 40. Even with fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization, women have more difficulty getting pregnant as they age.
Women also have more trouble staying pregnant as they get older: The rates of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy go up substantially with age.
Even after you get pregnant, age continues to have an effect. The older you are when you get pregnant, the more likely you are to have a chronic disease, such as high blood pressure or diabetes that may be undiagnosed and can affect your pregnancy.
First-time pregnancy after age 35 may have normal pregnancies, but research indicates that these women are at increased risk of having a cesarean delivery, when the newborn is delivered through a surgical incision in the mother’s abdomen, delivery complications, including excessive bleeding during labour, prolonged labour (lasting more than 20 hours), labour that does not advance and an infant with a genetic disorder, such as Down syndrome,
Studies have also shown that high blood pressure, diabetes and problems with the placenta are a few conditions that are more likely to develop in older women during pregnancy.
During this period, medical experts advised that regular prenatal care is essential so that such conditions can be detected early, monitored and treated if necessary.
Older women are also more likely to enter a pregnancy with a pre-existing medical condition or may be on medications that could pose a problem for the pregnancy or the fetus. To ensure a good outcome for both mother and baby, discuss any medical problems you have with an obstetrician before becoming pregnant.
However, becoming, pregnant and having a baby is a huge adjustment for all first-time parents, but this especially seems to take older women by surprise.
By Chioma Obinna & Gabriel Olawale (Vanguard)