The majority of women wish to have at least one child during their lives. Due to modern life being so busy, and many mothers-to-be wanting to have a career for a few years, the average age of women getting pregnant is on the increase. For most, this is not a problem, but medical professionals are warning against getting pregnant after the age of 35. To understand why, it is important to recognize how the human body has evolved.
Travel Back In Time Ten Thousand Years
If we were to travel back in time ten thousand years, then women would be having babies in their mid-teens to early twenties. This trend had continued since we first split from the apes. The main reason was life expectancy, as to live to the age of 40 was regarded as a long life. This meant that breeding early was a huge advantage to continuing the family line.
These days though, thanks to the major advances in science over the last few decades, we no longer die from the diseases that killed many people in the past. Women can quite happily live well over the age of 80. Although we now live longer, our body clock has not yet evolved to take advantage of this. Which is why the menopause still occurs around the age of 40 in women. This is natures way of telling them that it is not a good idea having a child at this age, and so it shuts down the mechanism that allows it.
Other Natural Issues Which Can Affect Pregnancy Rates
There are also other natural issues which can affect pregnancy rates in older women. Aging changes the way that the ovaries produce eggs, and although they can still supply them on a regular basis, their quality can quite quickly decline. This can lead to difficulty in conceiving and infertility. If the man is of a similar age, his sperm will have also deteriorated. It is this problem of the ovaries, along with more older women wanting to conceive, that has seen a rise in the usage of in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Risks Can Affect Both Mother and Baby
When it comes to the actual risks, they can affect both the baby and mother.
– Difficulty in conceiving can lead to anxiety and psychological problems. These can worsen as the body clock ticks away.
– Complication can arise in a high number of older people, and this can affect the mother and baby.
– The risk of miscarriage starts to rapidly increase at 35, and is more likely with each extra year.
– High blood pressure is seen more often in older women, and this can lead to other complications.
– Although not totally understood, there is a higher risk of having twins or triplets, which in turn causes complications.
– There is a higher risk of the baby having a congenital abnormality. This can include things such as Down’s Syndrome.
– Pre-eclampsia increased risk.
– Complications during pregnancy can lead to long labour, stillbirths and other complications.
Having a baby at a late age is not impossible, but the risks to both mother and baby need to be understood.