How to assess the degree of risk
Pregnancy after 35 years, of course, cannot be completely free of risk, but it is not as great as you think, and in many cases it can be minimized. Here are some points to consider for a not-too-young woman if she wants to give birth for the first time.
First, you may find it difficult to get pregnant. There is documentary evidence that after 35 years, the ability to bear children gradually decreases. “But you need to keep in mind that it decreases gradually,” says Sally Feith Dorfman, MD, obstetrician-gynecologist from New York. Even if you do not take into account such an unfavorable factor as the premature onset of menopause, this means that you can conceive in one day and can not conceive in the next. "To conceive, it may take you 6-12 months instead of four."
But the great danger that lies in the face of a primiparous woman of an older age is associated with the birth of a child with genetic abnormalities, especially with Down syndrome.
Statistics show that for a 40-year-old woman, the danger of having a baby with Down's disease is nine times greater than for a 30-year-old woman. “However, says Dr. Dorfman, let's look at the numbers, and not at the degree of danger increase. For a 40-year-old woman, the probability of having a baby with Down syndrome is less than 1 percent. And, although the risk increases with age, in a 45-year-old woman it is 3 percent, that is, if you look from the other side, the probability of having a healthy baby is 97 percent. Of course, manipulating numbers has its limits, she warns. If this happens to you, it will happen 100 percent. "
Women older than 35 years more often than younger ones experience health complications during pregnancy, especially diabetes and high blood pressure, which are generally characteristic of older people. Complications of this kind are observed in about 6 percent of women over 35 years of age, compared with 1.3 percent in younger women. According to statistics, older women also increase the risk of pregnancy complications, including placental abruption and the fetal condition, which require medical intervention and can have very serious consequences for the health of both the mother and the baby. The likelihood of a miscarriage is also increasing. Childbirth can be more difficult and protracted, and with the current prevalence of Caesarean section, the main indications for him. However, having studied a number of studies on this subject, Dr. Dorfman found that on average, the duration of labor in late-born children exceeded the duration of labor in young people by only 45 minutes.
The likelihood is also increased simply because of the longer time spent on this planet, as Dr. Dorfman says, that an older woman has been exposed to potentially harmful toxic substances from the environment. For women over 35, there is an increased risk of problems associated with endometriosis and fibroids, which can affect fertility and pregnancy.
But all these types of dangers can be minimized if a woman who, in all likelihood, carefully plans a pregnancy, prepares herself physically for the upcoming pregnancy in advance. The fetal organs form in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and at this time the fetus is most vulnerable, doctors say, so if you get healthy right before you get pregnant, refuse cigarettes and alcohol, caffeine and drugs, take vitamins and do physical exercises, you will increase your chances of easily and well to endure pregnancy and give birth to a healthy baby. But pregnancy is not the time to start physical activity, doctors warn. You need to physically prepare yourself for the future before you become pregnant, then it will be easier for you to cope with problems if they arise.