What is Advanced Maternal Age

Women today are waiting later on in life to start a family. When women are in their 20’s they are focused on careers and being on the social scene. Marriage and kids are far from their minds. When a woman reaches the age of 35, she is considered advanced maternal age. What this means is that women can face pregnancy risks and may not be able to get pregnant because of the body producing less eggs and the child could possibly have birth defects.

Fertility

According to the march of dimes, women usually have some decrease in fertility starting in their early 30’s. March of dimes also goes on to state that women over the age of 35 ovulate less frequently than younger women.  There are also health problems that can also interfere with getting pregnant: endometriosis, tissue develops on the ovaries or fallopian tubes, block tubes which can be caused from an infection that you had in the past or fibroids which are growths on the uterus that are usually non cancerous. 

Birth Defects

Every mother is concerned that her baby may have birth defects. Women who are 35 and older have a greater chance of having a baby with birth defects than younger women. Older women also have completely healthy babies as well; they are just considered high risk. Birth defects are usually due to the chromosomes in the body.  The chromosomes in the body break down with age which causes chromosomal abnormalities.

Chronic Diseases

Fertility and birth defects are no t the only conditions that a woman over 35 has to worry about.  According to the expectant mothers guide, some of the more chronic diseases that may be present in women over the age of 35 and may affect the pregnancy are arthritis, hypertension, and diabetes.  These can easily be determined by talking with your physician before getting pregnant.

Twins

Now to some women this may seem like a dream come true to others it is not so great. Twins are three times as high in women over the age of 35 with at least four other children than women under twenty pregnant for the first time, states smart momma.  If you have had at least four children then you could possibly have twins, but if this is your first child the risk is lower. 

Having children is a great joy, but deciding to wait could run you the risk of having complications with the pregnancy and with the baby.  Talking to your doctor and getting a checkup would be a good idea before getting pregnant. Even though you may be 35 years old or older does not mean you won’t have a healthy baby or pregnancy, it just means you will have to take precautions and be closely monitored by your doctor.