by Staff writer
Though there is nothing biologically wrong with getting pregnant at late 30s, these findings are worth considering.
Medically speaking, if you are going to turn 35 during your pregnancy you get the unfortunately named diagnosis of “Advanced Maternal Age” (AMA for short).
Being AMA does put you at an increased risk for a few things: the most obvious is genetic abnormalities in a baby.
As women get older their chance of having a baby with a chromosomal abnormality (such as Down Syndrome) increases.
Reasons people may delay pregnancy and parenthood include: education, economic or housing uncertainty, unemployment, work, career and relationship issues such as divorce.
Also, as a woman ages, her fertility—the chance she will get pregnant—is reduced.
On average, this decline begins slowly in the early thirties and speeds up in the late thirties and forties.
When a female is born, she is born with all of the eggs she will ever have. It’s thought the decline in fertility with age is due to a decrease in the number of eggs remaining and a decrease in the quality of eggs (Rowe 2006).
Guess what? Men are not left out too…
Male fertility declines with age as well.
Researchers have found strong evidence that as men age, they can expect a decline in sperm counts, semen volume, sperm motility, and the number of normal sperm.
Therefore, older women with older male partners who are trying to get pregnant may experience the combination of female and male age-related fertility decline (Johnson, Dunleavy et al. 2015).
Asides the risk of having a baby with Down Syndrome, “Advanced Maternal Age” has also been associated with increased risk of miscarriage (Nybo Andersen, Wohlfahrt et al. 2000) and stillbirth (Huang, Sauve et al. 2008).
Fortunately, there are now genetic and other screening tests you can have to more accurately assess your fetus’ risk if you desire.
So if you are over 30 and considering getting pregnant, you may want to find a healthcare provider you trust (OB/GYN, Midwife, Family practice doctor, etc), and go see them for a “pre-conception” appointment to discuss all your concerns.
Please note that this article is provided for informational purposes only and should in no way replace the informed counsel of a medical professional.