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Complications Expected After the Age of 40

Aug 17, 2007
Since at least two or three decades ago, women over 35 in age are having healthy and successful pregnancies giving birth to healthy babies with no birth defects, despite medical advice suggesting that pregnancy must take place before the 30's.

The number of women who get pregnant after 40 is increasing every day, and physicians have found that a woman can have a healthy pregnancy, labor and delivery, although the risk of complications increase as a woman is getting older.

The National Center for Health Statistics says that the percentage of women conceiving between ages of 30s and 40s increased in 1970 and has not stopped since then, thanks to the advances and discoveries in the medical field.

However, fertility decreases with age, and if you are between 40 and 44, your risks for complications during pregnancy are higher than women between 35 and 39, and double the risk over younger women.

Staying aware of potential problems during the different stages of pregnancy is the clue for a happy pregnancy. The most common problem is closely related to chromosome developing in your baby known as Downs syndrome.

Other complications can be the obvious result of your age, such as problems to conceive as your fertility begins to decrease when you were 30, and those arising as consequences of health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.

Existent medical conditions can lead you to preterm labor or preeclampsia, a condition that affects both, you and your unborn baby. Some diseases may develop along with your pregnancy, even if you are actually a healthy woman.

In general terms, you will not need special care, unless your obstetrician detects a potential health problem during the early stage of your pregnancy. First-time mothers can have complications during labor, or it might be more a bit more difficult than labor for younger woman.

Even though common childbirth complications are prolonged during the second stage of labor and fetal distress, any of these conditions can be stressful for the expectant mother, more susceptible to mood swings than women under the 30s.

After 35, it is more likely that women will undergo cesarean surgery, and the older you are, the highest risk of c-section you might face. With the benefits of amniocentesis during pregnancy your chances of complications including c-section lowers.

Once you decide to get pregnant after age 40, planning your pregnancy is your best aid to prevent complications at any stage. A gynecologist or obstetrician can determine your medical condition, and suggest immunizations or medications to increase your chances to give birth to a healthy baby and stay healthy yourself.
About the Author
For more information about pregnancy complications with age or other complications in pregnancy you can check out
complications.org.uk
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