Do The Risks In Pregnancy Rise After Age 35?

More and more women are having children later in life. This is partly due to women wanting to educate themselves, get their career started, and feel financially able to care for a child before thinking of pregnancy. The result is many women having children in their mid to late thirties and beyond. However, the risks associated with pregnancy do rise somewhat after age 35. Actually, each year a woman lives her risks of pregnancy related problems increases just a little bit. This does not mean that women 35 and older won’t have successful pregnancies because they do all the time. It is just that women in this age range should be aware of the possible problems that could arise due to their age.

What are the risks?
The risks associated with pregnancy for women over 35 years of age include the following:

-High blood pressure

-Increased risk of birth defects



-Fertility Problems

-Carrying more than one fetus

-Genetic disorders

-Placenta previa

-Increased rate of C-Section

Of course, just because you are over the age of 35 does not mean you will experience all or any of these. It just means you have a higher risk of experiencing these than a 25 year old woman. There are many women that successfully have children after age 35 with no symptoms at all and then there are other women who experience nearly all of these. You need to work with your doctor to ensure you lower your risks as much as possible and to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Prenatal Care
If you are 35 or older and considering having a child then make sure you visit your doctor before you become pregnant. This will allow you to learn about all of the risks associated with pregnancy after 35 as well as what you can do to minimize your risks.

If you are overweight your doctor will advise you to lose weight before becoming pregnant. This will reduce your chances of diabetes and pre-eclampsia. Your doctor will also inform you of the importance of eating healthy, exercising, and giving up drinking or smoking. Doing this will make you healthier which means you have a better chance of having a healthy pregnancy.

Additionally, women over the age of 35 who do become pregnant may be more interested in genetic testing than younger women. This helps spot Down Syndrome, Trisomy 13, and other possible genetic problems while the pregnancy is still young. Finding this information out early on will allow a couple to prepare for a special needs child or consider terminating the pregnancy.

Leila Pereira
Leila Pereira
I work in occupational therapy and occupational science. I specialize in early intervention pediatrics for children from birth to three years old; with an emphasis on children with autism. My goals are to support the achievement of developmental milestones in your child while collaborating with caregivers & parents; including play skill development, education, leisure, rest and sleep, feeding, nutrition and social participation. Licensed by the California Board of Occupational Therapy

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