In the not-so-distant past, there was a certain age at which it was thought to be incredibly risky for a woman to become pregnant. Simply put, she was thought to be too old from a medical standpoint. Thankfully, medical science has changed and improved, and women are having babies much later in life. There are, however, certain risks associated with pregnancies later life that you should be aware of.
Considering the Risks
Regardless of your reasons for putting off having a child, you do need to carefully consider all of the risks involved with having a baby later in life, instead of having a baby in your twenties or early thirties. It is irresponsible to not consider those risks, and this includes risks to yourself and to your child.
It is also important to realize that while risks exist, there is no evidence that those risks will absolutely occur. This is why medical care and advice is important before and during the pregnancy. Make sure that you have a clear understanding as to what the risks are, and how they can be avoided before becoming pregnant.
What Are the Risks Associated with Getting Pregnant Later in Life?
First, you must understand that all of the risks that are associated with pregnancies that occur in a woman’s twenties or early thirties still exist when a woman is older. Additionally, because the body is older, the pregnancy can be harder on the body than it would have been ten years earlier. This is definitely something to consider. While the risks of preeclampsia and placenta previa exist for all pregnancies, the risks are increased if the woman is older.
It is also important to realize that it is usually harder for an older woman to conceive a child. There are drugs that can help with this, but those medications also have side effects that you will need to be aware of. There is also an added psychological strain on women who are older when they become pregnant. Younger women, like most young people, never feel like anything can happen to them, while older women tend to know better.
Finally, you will need to be aware of the increased risk of birth defects in children born to older women. Spina Bifida and Down’s Syndrome are the most common increased risks of birth defects in these children, and proper advanced screening is highly recommended before becoming pregnant, and again early in pregnancy.
Dealing with the Risks
If you discuss the possible risks in advance with your doctor, not only will you ease your own mind regarding those risks, but you can also be tested to rule out many risks. Many other risks can be treated if they are discovered early enough. Being older isn’t any reason to avoid becoming pregnant, but it is cause to carefully consider the possibilities.