An increasing number of women today are career oriented and are leaving motherhood to at least to their late thirties. A woman experiences a decline in fertility after she reaches 30 years. Complications increase after the age of 35. Age related decline in fertility may be due to the following reasons:
- A decrease in sperm counts
- Fewer number of eggs
- A decrease in the health of eggs to be ovulated.
- Hormonal changes which results in altered ovulation
- Decrease in the frequency of intercourse
The risks of complications start increasing after the age of 35. If you are 35 years or above and are planning or expecting a baby there are concerns which needs to be addressed.
Dr. Aniruddha Malpani, renowned IVF Specialist says, “The major problem for the older women planning a pregnancy is that time is at a premium! Older women present doctors with many challenging problems. For one, they usually respond poorly to ovarian stimulation, and pregnancy rates with treatment are lower. They also have an increased risk of having a miscarriage - and in women over 41 years of age, this risk can be as much as 50%! Moreover, as a woman ages, she has an increased risk of having medical problems in her pregnancy, because of pre existing medical problems such as diabetes and hypertension.
Risk of pregnancy after the age of 35
Women in their early thirties ovulate less frequently and their eggs may decline in quality hence an older woman’s eggs take longer to fertilize as compared to a younger woman in her twenties. This only means that older woman may take longer to get pregnant. If you are older than 35 years and have not been able to conceive for 1 year, it is important to meet your doctor for advice.
- Increased chances of miscarriage
The older the woman gets, higher are chances of miscarriage. Studies suggest that risk of miscarriage is higher in women over the age of 35 as there is a higher incidence of chromosomal abnormalities in eggs associated with older women.
- Risk of chromosome abnormalities
The babies born to older women have higher chances of having a low birth weight or are like to be born prematurely. There are chances that babies are affected with conditions such as Down’s syndrome or Edward’s syndrome which are generally caused due to genetic defects or chromosomal abnormalities.
- High blood pressure and diabetes
Women over the age of 35 have a higher risk of developing health conditions like gestational diabetes and hyper tension.
Older mothers have a prolonged labor and hence instrumental delivery and cesarean section are resorted to in majority of the cases.
Dr. Sangeeta Pikle, a well known Gynecologist believes, that with the scientific advancements elder woman can produce healthy babies but do not have the same enthusiasm to raise kids as they are also ageing. It has been seen that younger mothers have lesser generation gap, are energetic, can spend more time with their children and they can also cope with child adolescence relatively better.” She advices, “All mothers who are planning to have babies should complete their family before they reach 30, so that they can complete their responsibilities before their retirement and can enjoy their old age.”