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Over 35 and pregnant? What you need to know

--- 21 Mar 2019

Due to a recent change in our lifestyle, priorities and needs, many women today are waiting later in life to have children. There are 6 times more women aged between 35 and 39 who are pregnant for the first time, than there were in the 1970s and twice as many first-time pregnant women over the age of 40 as there were in the 90s.

How does a woman’s age affect pregnancy?

Most “new later mums” are worried that they are risking both their health and the welfare of the babies by choosing to start families later. It has been established that women who get pregnant in their late 30s or 40s have a higher risk of complications. Some of these problems may affect a woman’s health. Others can affect the health of the fetus. Often, such indications alone are enough to force women into depression or cause anxiety, which can influence a woman’s chances of conceiving as well as the later stages of pregnancy.

Pregnancy after 35. What are the risks?

Advanced maternal age is associated with certain pregnancy-related risks. Being “at risk” causes anxiety and concern in most women. In addition to the usual pregnancy problems, bleeding, spontaneous abortion, risky pregnancy, premature births are common too. One of the major and most stressful risks is that the possibility of a child being born with any of the chromosomal abnormalities is much greater than in younger pregnant women. Research has shown that the probability of a child being born with Down syndrome will increase with the age of the pregnant woman;

    • The probability of a child being born with Down syndrome to a pregnant 25 year old woman is 1 in 1,250 births;
    • to a pregnant 30 year old, the probability is somewhere around 1 in 1000 births;
    • to a pregnant 35 year old, the probability is somewhere around 1 in 400 births.
    • To a pregnant 45 year old, the probability is as high as 1 in 30 births

Maternal age of 45 and over at the time of pregnancy increases the risk of having a child with Down’s syndrome to one in 30.
Due to these risks, pregnant women often undergo diagnostic methods which help determine the fetus’ genetic defects during pregnancy. Diagnostic methods, such as amniocentesis and chorionic resonance biopsies, can cause abortions. There is a 1-2% chance of an abortion if the woman experienced difficulties conceiving in previous pregnancies. Consequently, these methods represent a factor with a negative influence on the pregnant woman.

What is the safest way to determine the health of your unborn child?

An increasing number of prospective parents opt for a non-invasive prenatal NIFTY test that doesn’t interfere with the pregnant woman’s body and therefore pose no risk of abortion. The NIFTY test is based on a simple venous blood collection from the 10th week of pregnancy. The fetus’ DNA is extracted from the mother-to-be’s blood. The blood is then analyzed by the latest laboratory technology producing your child’s risks of being born with one of the more common chromosomal abnormalities. As the NIFTY test is over 99% accurate, it’s recommended by gynecologists and doctors all over the world.

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