What are the dangers of pregnancy after age 35?
Having children, especially a first child after age 35 is riskier than having them at a younger age, but such pregnancies are not higher risk if the mother is healthy. Until the 1970’s, obstetricians rarely saw women older than 35 expecting their first child. Now, more and more women are delaying their childbearing and physicians have gotten used to seeing such patients. Part of the increased risk after age 35 stems from the fact that older women are slightly more likely to have high blood pressure or diabetes, both of which can cause complications during pregnancy. Older women are also slightly more likely to bear a chromosomally abnormal child, such as a child with Down’s syndrome; but until age 45 such births are still a relatively small fraction of all live births. Chromosomally abnormal fetuses often abort spontaneously, which increase the miscarriage rate among older pregnant women. Still, with good care, a healthy woman who is pregnant after age 35 is likely to have a healthy baby.
The material contained here is “FOR INFORMATION ONLY” and should not replace the counsel and advice of your personal physician. Promptly consulting your doctor is the best path to a quick and successful resolution of any medical problem.