There is a lot of hemming and hawing over the right time to make babies. However, the statistics reveal that the number of women getting pregnant at 35 years or later has increased from 8% in 1990 and 11% in 2002 to 15% in 2017. Women may be clearer with their priorities in life, however, late pregnancies have resulted in the need for labor induction or a c-section at 39 weeks.
Risks Involved In Delayed Pregnancy
Decline In Fertility
The age of a female has an impact on her fertility to a greater extent, inviting complications and risks as the mother’s age increases. A woman’s fertility slowly declines in the early thirties and speeds up in the later part of thirties and forties. This dwindling fertility has been attributed to the decrease in the number and quality eggs she can beget.
The male fertility also suffers under the impact of age with a decline in sperm count, motility, and volume. Older couples often experience age-related fertility issues in combination.
Risk Of Miscarriage
The ever-increasing risk of miscarriage with age has been observed as 20% among 35-year-old, 40% 84% for 40 and 48-year-olds respectively.1
The risk of still-birth is seen more commonly in women who try to conceive in the later part of the fertility window. Although the reason behind it is still unknown, some studies have shown that age causes the blood vessels around the uterus to become less sufficient.
The rate of still-births increased from 2.1 in every 10,000 pregnancies in women who delivered at 37 weeks to 10.8 per 10,000 pregnancies in women who birthed at 42 weeks. Considering the risks involved older women are induced early in gestation. Induction could actually reduce the likeliness of still-birth as well as other complications.
There is a higher risk of genetic abnormalities in older pregnant couples. The risk of Down syndrome, neural tube defects, and other disorders increase with the mother’s age irrespective of the fact that it is natural conception or conceived through in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Why Are Couples Delaying Their Pregnancy?
There are other factors that influence a woman’s decision to become pregnant. Women opting for higher education and entering male-dominated field of work where people solely concentrate on achieving targets and having profits and are less supportive towards motherhood.3 Sadly, the society still fails to understand the necessity of childcare due to which the work policies don’t suit the women who finally have to choose between being a mother and a wage earner.
The options of fertility treatments and birth control are also the reason behind the rise in the rate of women having babies after 35. The researchers have labeled ages 35-39 and above 40 have as advanced maternal age (AMA).
|↑1||Andersen, Anne-Marie Nybo, Jan Wohlfahrt, Peter Christens, Jørn Olsen, and Mads Melbye. “Maternal age and fetal loss: population based register linkage study.” Bmj 320, no. 7251 (2000): 1708-1712.|
|↑2, ↑3||Mills, Melinda, Ronald R. Rindfuss, Peter McDonald, and Egbert Te Velde. “Why do people postpone parenthood? Reasons and social policy incentives.” Human reproduction update 17, no. 6 (2011): 848-860.|