Whether you always planned to have a baby after 40 or things just turned out that way, there are some pregnancy related problems that to-be-parents over the age of 40 must be aware of.
Not only does natural fertility starts to decline after the age of 35, getting pregnant in your 40s comes with a few other risks too.
Here are 8 things you need to know if you are keen on pregnancy after 40. None of these are fun….some are downright scary…but they are important.
- Be aware of increased risk for genetic disorders or chromosomal abnormalities. When you first notice pregnancy signs, meet with a genetic counselor or fertility doctor to know which tests you’ll need to ascertain the health of the baby.
- Miscarriage is one of the foremost disheartening risks of pregnancy for women over 40 years of age. The risk is almost double compared to women in their 20s or early 30s. Most of these miscarriages are a result of aforementioned chromosomal abnormalities.
- At 40, your chance of conceiving a child with Down syndrome is one in 100; at 45 it’s one in 30. Because the risk of genetic problems increases with age, experts routinely recommend that women in their 40s have detailed fetal screenings such as advanced ultrasounds, Chronic Villus Sampling, amniocentesis, and cell-free fetal DNA blood testing.
- General medical conditions that are a result of aging, like Diabetes, thyroid problem, obesity and high BP can all contribute towards pregnancy problems. Make sure you are in good health and are reasonably fit before you conceive.
- If you do undergo fertility treatment, be aware of the possibility of multiple births. The possibility of twins or triplets is increased in later life pregnancy even without infertility drugs though.
- You need to know that the risk of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia is higher in women over 40 who are having their first baby.
- Another risk of pregnancy for women over the age of 40 is preterm birth. Stillbirth rates are also higher, and children born to older mothers may be at increased risk of type 1 diabetes and high blood pressure.
- If you have never focused on fitness, dieting or exercise all your life, don’t make any drastic changes right now. Try fertility yoga that promotes the blood flow to female reproductive organs. Avoid vigorous dieting since nutritional irregularities greatly affect the secretion of endocrine hormones.