The older you are, the more challenges you may face during pregnancy. Be sure to read on if you're over 35 and pregnant.

By Dr. Laura Riley
October 19, 2009
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pregnancy after 35

Age matters in pregnancy. The older you are, the more challenges you may face. Many women over 35 have normal pregnancies and normal deliveries, but statistics show that more problems arise when you're an older mother.

For example, older women are more likely to have chronic health problems such as high blood pressure, heart and kidney problems, autoimmune diseases, and type 2 diabetes, which complicate pregnancy. They also have a higher risk of having a miscarriage or a baby with a genetic disorder. In addition, older women tend to tire more quickly than younger women, although a healthy diet and a regular fitness regimen can be energizing.

Older mothers are usually offered more tests during pregnancy, including amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling. Age makes a difference in the delivery room too. Cesarean delivery rates go up in the over-35 set for a variety of reasons.

Finally, older mothers are more likely than younger mothers to have conceived with the help of assisted reproductive technology because fertility rates fall as women age. These pregnancies are more likely to require close monitoring and cesarean delivery than naturally conceived babies.

This gray cloud does have a silver lining, however. Mothers over 35 have accumulated more life experience and are often more financially secure than younger women, both of which come in handy when you're raising a child.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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Comments (2)

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Anonymous
May 10, 2021
Anonymous
May 3, 2019
My wife is 44, I am 56, she had her last child from a previous marriage 8 years ago. I would love to have a child with her, but if the risk is too great, what about a surrogate, until the embryo and be implanted into my wife to take to term. Is this a possibility, or movie fiction?