Women may not realize that just being 35 years of age puts them in the high-risk pregnancy category. Of course, one size doesn’t fit all, and many women who are over 35 are healthy and in great shape. If you are considering having a baby after 35, it is best to take all of the facts into consideration before making a final decision.
The first obstacle you may have to face is infertility. Women who are over 35 begin to have a decrease in the number of eggs that are produced each month. Be prepared to spend a longer time trying to get pregnant than someone 10 years younger. Also, if you choose to go the in vitro fertilization route you’ll want to be prepared for the possibility of becoming pregnant with multiples.
Once you finally conceive, you’ll have other hurdles to overcome. To begin with older women are more susceptible to gestational diabetes and high blood pressure than younger women. You’ll need to be monitored and possibly placed on medications to control these conditions if they arise. Next is the risk of having a child with chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down Syndrome. These odds significantly increase between the ages of 35 and 40.
Should your pregnancy go well, you’ll still be faced with complications that may arise toward the end of your pregnancy could lead to a cesarean section (c-section). Just like the other risks, the possibility of needing a c-section increases with age. Risks at the beginning of your pregnancy include a miscarriage.
After you have discussed the risks of pregnancy over the age of 35 with your obstetrician, you’ll be able to make an educated decision. If you choose to go ahead and try to get pregnant, you’ll want to make sure you are taking the right vitamins, including folic acid. Get a workout routine approved by your obstetrician to stay physically fit for your pregnancy, and make sure you eat healthy.
You’ll also want to consider some prenatal testing. These tests include an amniocentesis and a few blood samples. There are risks associated with the amniocentesis, however, so make sure you go over them with your doctor before you agree to the testing.
Finally, you’ll need to plan on visiting the doctor more frequently, especially toward the end of your pregnancy. You may even need more than one routine ultrasound. The extra monitoring will help to ensure that you and the baby are as healthy as possible.
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