Pregnancy After 45 - To Have Or Not To Have

Pregnant At 45

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When Kelly Preston announced to the world about her pregnancy at the age of 47, it created ripples in the media. It prompted television shows to discuss the marvels of science that allowed Preston and her actor husband John Travolta to have a baby at this stage of their life.

Not just celebs, several women are delaying their pregnancies for career or personal reasons, causing experts to research on the consequences of late pregnancies. Some researchers believe that older mothers do not fare as well as the younger ones while some did not find any difference. So is there anything like ‘too old’ to be pregnant? Read on to know more!

Chances Of Conceiving:

To start with, getting pregnant at 45 or after is in no way same as getting pregnant in the 20s. A 30-year-old woman has a 20% chance of conceiving in any given month while it plummets to 5% for a 40-year-old. At 45, healthy pregnancy with your eggs comes down to 1%. Through IVF and donor eggs, the chances increase to 70 to 75%.

[ Read: Pregnancy At Age 40 And After 40 ]

It Will Not Be Easy:

While it is not impossible, it isn’t easy either. Kelly Preston did not tell the media whether she conceived naturally or through assisted reproductive technology, but it is important for you to know that for women aged 45 and plus, it is likely to be the latter. Most women experience menopause or are likely to be infertile at the age of 45, those trying to conceive at that age will need assistance either in the form of in-vitro fertilization with eggs from younger donors or fertility drugs. After 36 years, if you are concerned about infertility or are unable to conceive even after trying for six months, consult your doctor or a fertility specialist.

Yes, You Can Get Naturally Pregnant At 45:

Now here’s something to cheer you up. The odds may not always be for middle-aged mother conceiving naturally, but many women do. So never assume that you are too old to get pregnant unless you have not had your periods for a year due to menopause. You may experience menopausal symptoms like missing a menstruation period, only to have them return after a few months.

Mary Ellen, a middle-aged woman from British Columbia, said that it was not difficult at all for her to conceive after 45. She had her last child at the age of 47. Some women have fertile eggs remaining in them even in their 40s, which can assist in natural reproduction. But conceiving might take a bit longer than usual.

[ Read: Pregnant After Cesarean ]

Drawbacks Of Being Pregnant After 45:

1. You May Be At Certain Risks:

One of the most important things to remember while trying to get pregnant in the 40s is that the risks increase with time. Mothers trying to conceive at this age should talk to their gynecologist not just about healthy pregnancy and options for genetic and prenatal testing, but also about other risks that might be involved. Even with donor eggs, pregnancy at 45 may increase the chances of getting preeclampsia, gestational diabetes or will undergo a cesarean section.

[ Read: Pregnancy Complications ]

2. Risk To The Baby:

When an older woman gets pregnant with her eggs, there is a possibility for the child to inherit Down’s Syndrome. At the age of 40, the risk is one in 100, but at 49, it is one in ten. That’s the reason older women use eggs of younger donors.

3. The Eggs Age:

Men continue to generate fresh sperm throughout their lives, but women are born with all the eggs that they can ever produce. By the time the four decades have crossed, the eggs age, increasing the possibility of chromosomal abnormalities.

4. Age May Affect Birth And Labor:

In addition to increasing the risk of cesarean section and preeclampsia, your age can also affect the labor and birth of the child. According to March of Dimes, women over 35 face an increased risk of placenta previa, miscarriage, stillbirth or premature delivery. While it is imperative for you to understand these risks, you must also know that you may not experience any of these complications at all. Mary Ellen said that the labor with her last child was the easiest of all.

5. Severe Bleeding:

Older mothers are likely to experience severe bleeding. On an average, older mothers and their newborns stay longer in the hospital, and the babies often land in intensive care unit. Infants could suffer from metabolic problems like low blood sugar.

[ Read: Tips To Improve Your Chances Of Getting Pregnant ]

6. Problem With Donor Eggs:

According to reports, women assisting the reproductive technology can also be in danger. Egg donors are typically young women. Using younger eggs in aged bodies can lead to genetic abnormalities.

The Positive Side Of Delayed Pregnancy:

Putting the medical risks aside, mid-life pregnancies extend the virtues of waiting until later in life to become mothers. Here are a few!

1. You Are Experienced:

The greatest advantage is that you have had the time to grow and see the world. You will be secure financially and successful in your career. It’s also likely that you and your partner have understood each other in a variety of circumstances, laying a solid foundation for raising a healthier family.

2. You Are Wiser:

Older mothers are, in general, better trained and educated than the younger ones and tend to make wiser parenting decisions. They are also likely to breastfeed their child and make healthier nutritional choices for children.

[ Read: How Does Age Affect Pregnancy ]

Ensuring A Healthy Pregnancy:

Proper prenatal care is necessary during this period. We recommend you get to a normal weight before trying to conceive, as it can reduce the heightened risk of blood pressure and diabetes. Practicing stress management and eating organic food can also be helpful. Seek help from your gynecologist, preferably a fertility specialist.

What is your opinion on delayed pregnancy? Do you think it is normal to have babies at an older age in these changing times?

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