One U.S. study estimates that 20% of women are now giving birth after the age of 35. But what are the risks and the facts about getting pregnant at a later age? Here are some things about late age pregnancy.
Risks of late age pregnancy
As we grow older, our risk for genetic defects like Down’s syndrome and miscarriage, which are also linked to egg abnormalities.
Age also affects our pituitary gland’s ability to produce the Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) which controls the development of eggs during the menstrual cycle. Fertility doctors will usually test a woman’s FSH levels.
Some treatments that may help
However your chances of conceiving depend on you and your husband’s genes, lifestyle and health, and willingness to ‘work’ on having a baby. Aside from medical treatments, there are alternative therapies (like diets or herbs that ‘boost’ egg and sperm quality) or relatively simple steps like charting ovulation using a basal body thermometer.
Actions you can take to boost fertility
Have yourself checked for hormonal imbalances, scar tissue from prior caesarian sections, or other conditions like thyroid gland disorders or diabetes that can affect your pregnancy. This medical information can help you and your husband make an informed decision on whether you can wait to have another baby.
Exercise but don’t overdo it. Some professional athletes or crash dieters complain of missed periods (amenorrhea). This could be linked to centuries’-old survival instinct: in times of famine, people would walk miles to follow herds or gather grain. Your body may interpret your high activity level as a sign of crisis, then curb the hormones that would lead to a possible pregnancy.
Studies also nutritional imbalances (caused by restrictive diets that cut out entire food groups) and very low body fat percentage to conception issues. There was one case of a strict vegetarian who ate so many carrots that the skyrocketing levels of carotene actually caused her body to stop ovulating. She was advised by her doctor to increase protein intake through fish and eggs, and got pregnant soon after.
Photo from pregnancyandbaby.com