How does increased age affect pregnancy?

As previously mentioned, age affects fertilisation and also pregnancy through uterine functioning and a woman's general health as she gets older. Many women though are striving for better health through nutrition and fitness, making them stronger in many ways to carry a baby through pregnancy.

With age, women are more likely to also develop medical conditions like high blood pressure, heart conditions, cancer, diabetes, and infection. In addition, when the father's sperm unites with the mother's egg, the joining chromosomes are also at higher risk to abnormality that can result in miscarriage. Some pregnant women over the age of 35 experience pregnancy-induced diabetes (or gestational diabetes). In others the positioning of the placenta can affect pregnancy and also premature birth of the baby. Saying this, during the maternity period of a woman over the age of 35, prenatal tests, like ultrasound and amniotic fluid tests, and care to monitor pregnancy health progress is greater. This monitoring can actually lower any risk to pregnancy brought on by age. Is pregnancy over age 35 common?

UK national statistics reveal that since 1989 the amount of mothers aged 40 plus has trebled with more women now giving birth when in their 30's than 20's. There is also a 50 percent increase in women having babies over the age of 40. One recent case is that of Cherie Blair who gave birth to her son Leo at age 45. Reports from other countries show a worldwide trend of births occurring to women who are older than 35.

Delaying parenthood over the age of 35 carries psychological and social benefits that often outweigh the physical pregnancy concerns resulting from age. Women are more prepared for losing a baby (through understanding age implications) and may be less harmed by the experience than women of lower age who expect prompt fertility, straight-forward pregnancy and birth. Women aged 35 plus are also usually more mature, emotionally developed, and financially prepared to raise a child for better social adjustment.

Although first births are common over the age of 35, national statistics in the UK show that more women are having second or more births with increased age.

Why is there an increase in pregnant women over the age of 35?

Globally, women are becoming more educated and taking on more professional roles. As a result, women are making more mature lifestyle choices and are better prepared in choosing when to have a baby. Many are postponing pregnancy in lieu of educational and career achievements. Another reason that there is an increase in pregnant women over the age of 35 is because often first marriages fail when woman may or may not have had a first child. In subsequent relationships, women over age 35 are opting either to have a first child or to grow their families with more children.

Having a baby after 35:

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