Getting Pregnant after 35
More women are now getting pregnant for the first time when they are over the age of 35 years, especially in developed countries like the UK. Today’s women often concentrate on education and career making the decision to get married and have children later in life. A first pregnancy over the age of 35 is quite common these days, particularly in cities. From the point of view of conception, however, age is not just a number but is also an indication of the continued decline in fertility in women. Pregnancy after 35 years brings additional risks. For the older first time mum it is very importantthat she visits her gynae expert at the Gynaecology Clinic in order to talk about the best approach to pregnancy in this older age group.
Fertility in women begins to decrease from the age of 32 and after the age of 37 years, it will decline rapidly. Every woman has a fixed number of eggs in her ovaries and with advanced age, her chances of fertility reduce as the number and the quality of those eggs declines. The eggs of older women may be more difficult to fertilize and women in older age groups are more likely to suffer from medical conditions such as – endometriosis, diabetes, blood pressure, and uterine fibroids, which can be problematic.
The decline in fertility can be accompanied by significant increase in the rate of aneuploidy, autosomal trisomy and spontaneous abortion. The foetal loss rate is also increased in older women. There can also be problems related to assisted reproduction (IVF) in women who are 35 years or above. IVF data indicates that the rate of miscarriage increases progressively with age, from 13% in younger women to 54% in women who are 44 y or older. Ideally women who are more than 35 years should be:
- Counseled, educated and made aware of the effect of age on fertility
- Should be assessed after 6 months of failed attempts to conceive or before, if indicated clinically.
- In women who are more than 40 years, immediate evaluation and treatment is required.
Any woman, who is over35 years and wants to become pregnant naturally or with assisted reproduction techniques, should be informed fully about undertaking pregnancy at this age. Eggs will become old and of poorer quality and the chances of getting pregnant can be as little as 1 in 5.
Some women believe that they will be able to conceive by IVF or assisted reproduction but similar problems may well be encountered, with the chances of embryo development at about1-2 percent, particularly after 45 years of age. The risk of abortion can be more than 50 percent. In such situations, a woman may choose to precede using donor eggs. Interestingly although ovaries and eggs function less well at an older age, uterine activity is typically good and that will increase the chances of good implantation and a successful pregnancy.
Considering pregnancy at an older age should always be preceded with a consultation with private gynaecologist at Gynaecology Clinic in London. If a patient follows her doctor’s advice, stays well, adopts a healthy lifestyle, eats a good diet, takes regular exercises to stay physically fit, and takes adequate rest her chances of having a successful pregnancy will be greatly enhanced.