Pregnancy After 35: What To Expect

April 20, 2015

Today, many women are waiting until later in life to have children. In fact, the number of women having their first child between the ages of 35 to 44 has increased from 26% 10 years ago to around 40% today, according to the National Health Statistics Reports. While there is nothing wrong with waiting until later in life to have children, it can present a unique set of challenges. It’s important that you work with an experienced obstetrician to increase your chances of having a happy and healthy baby.

It May Take Some Time

Your body has a finite number of eggs. Once you reach your mid to late 30s, the quantity quality of those eggs starts decreasing. Even if you do release an egg every month, it may be harder for those eggs to become fertilized. Women over the age of 35 who have not been able to conceive after 6 months may want to consider seeking a fertilization expert.

The Mother May Develop Health Issues

No matter what age you are, it’s important to stay healthy and active while pregnant. However, this is especially true for women over the age of 35, as they are at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. To lower these risks, mothers should meet regularly with their obstetrician.

Multiples Become More Likely

As time goes by, the chance of having two or more babies at once increases with age. This is because women over the age of 35 produce more follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). This is the hormone responsible for maturing the egg, preparing it for ovulation. So, when there is excess FSH is present, a women is likely to release more than one egg each month.

Higher Risk of Chromosome Abnormalities

Chromosome abnormalities, such as Downs Syndrome, are much more prevalently in women who become pregnant after 35. Most studies find that the likelihood of giving birth to a child with a chromosome abnormality after 35 is around 1 in 170. This number dramatically spikes by the time a woman reaches 40, when the chances are around 1 in 60.

Looking After Mother and Baby

At OB-GYN Women’s Centre, we help women of all ages become mothers. No matter when you decide to start your family, be sure and meet with one of our experienced obstetricians first. They will be there for you every step of the way from fertility treatments, to delivery. Call OB-GYN Women’s Centre to schedule your appointment or click here.