Having a baby and experiencing the joy of motherhood is the most wonderful feeling. But to make this feeling wonderful, it is necessary to conceive at the right time, or for that matter at the right age. Women these days are opting for pregnancy when they have already entered their 30s. Late marriages, career and financial constraints are a few reasons behind this change. But, at times, getting pregnant post-30 can get a little complicated. Gynaecologists suggest that women might have to bear several complications when they conceive post-30, or may even face difficulty in conceiving. Therefore, it is always better to know about the risks involved. So, take a look at some of these complications.
Fertility goes into a free fall post-30
The older you get, higher is the risk of a complicated pregnancy. A woman’s body goes through various physical and hormonal changes after the age of 30. And with each passing year, there is a decline in her fertility rate. As per fertility specialist, James Goldfarb, Director of infertility services and IVF at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio, "There's a clear drop-off in fertility between ages 29 and 35, but the majority of 35-year-old women still won't have a problem. However, by 38 or 39, age becomes a big factor.”
The main reason behind this is that women in their 30s tend to ovulate less frequently, making conception harder than the women who ovulate regularly in their 20s. According to leading fertility specialist, Sherman Silber, “Overall, in your 30s you have only 15 per cent chance of getting pregnant in any single ovulation cycle.”
Child birth complications
The chances of miscarriage increase gradually with age. According to ASRM (American society for Reproductive Medicine), "About 20 per cent pregnancies in the age group 35-39 end in miscarriage. This is 10 per cent higher than the chance of women in their twenties." Even the possibility of a cesarean birth rises at this age. According to experts, the increased C-section rates are due to fetal distress (signs that your baby is unwell in the womb) or prolonged second-stage labour (commonly known as the pushing stage), which is more common in women post-30.
The chances of chromosomal abnormity increase in a child, born to a mother who is 30 or above. The possibility of a child being affected by 'Down syndrome' (delay in physical growth) is higher. As per ASRM, "The chances of baby with Down syndrome are 1 in 1,250 for a woman at age 25, but at 30 the likelihood shoots up to 1 in 1,000 and 1 in 400 at 35."
Pre-existing conditions can play a spoilsport
With every passing year, the biological clock of women tickles and so their health conditions. Some health conditions like endometriosis, blocked fallopian tubes and fibroids can hinder the conception process. Problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney problems and heart problems also complicate the pregnancy, thus risking the baby’s life. Dr. Rustom P. Soonawala, a specialist in women’s health says, “Incidents of hypertension and gestational diabetes in 30-plus pregnancies are in the range of 8-12 per cent, compared with 5 per cent in the younger age group.”
A ray of hope
Well, it is true that age can hamper the fertility of a woman, but this does not mean that she can be labelled as infertile. Most doctors suggest that, till the age of 35, couples should have unprotected intercourse for one full year to conceive. And, if it does not work out, then they should seek medical advice. In case of women above 30, this time period increases by six more months.
With major breakthroughs in the field of gynaecology, conceiving a baby is not that difficult after all. With techniques like IVF, chances of late pregnancy can be well imagined. Ace choreographer Farah Khan says, "I got married at the age of 40, and both, my husband, Shirish, and I were keen to start a family soon. God bless IVF because it's never too late to conceive anymore." For women under age 35, the chances of conceiving through IVF are 25 to 28 per cent, while for those over the age 40, the rate drops to 6 to 8 per cent.
So, ladies if you are planning to start family post-30, it is recommended to consult a gynaecologist. This does not mean that you cannot conceive naturally, but a doctor can help you in having a healthy and uncomplicated pregnancy.