Late Pregnancies: Separating Facts from Fictio
Every woman’s experience with motherhood is as different as they are!
Yes! The path to motherhood isn’t the same for everyone. Some plan pregnancies, while many others it just get pregnant by chance and keep the child. For some people, motherhood takes years of fertility struggle with fertility issues, but many others choose the shortest path of adoption.
Pregnancy and maternal age
The road to parenthood is different for everyone. No matter when and why you are planning a pregnancy, the joy of motherhood remains the same.
However, your pregnancy experience can get changed with your age. If in your 20’s you never wanted to have children or to enjoy life to the fullest, don’t worry as you are not alone here. If you are someone who is planning a pregnancy in the ’30s or ’40s this article is for you.
I can understand you have been hearing about the odds of late pregnancy from all and sundry, but I’ve got your back. Let’s dive deep into it!
Late age pregnancy- what are the complications?
Late age pregnancy or sometimes also known as geriatric pregnancy refers to pregnancies above 34 years of age. Although there are reasons which can make pregnancies at later age difficult. These include;
- Women’s egg number is reduced with their age.
- The eggs produced at a later age are more prone to chromosomal damages.
- Fertility disorders are more common in older age.
- The childbearing capacity of a female’s body reduces with the progression of age.
I attended a webinar in which a renowned pediatric surgeon in Lahore marked late pregnancies as one of the major contributors to birth defects among children.
Late age pregnancy myths
Although there are many risks associated with late age pregnancies, myths are more harmful than actual danger. Let’s break some of old age pregnancy myths;
1- You can’t get pregnant after 35
Well, it is commonly believed that women’s bodies become unable to survive pregnancies with progressive age. Though pregnancy can be difficult for older age moms that don’t make them infertile. Let me explain why! A woman’s fertility is directly dependent upon egg production in her body. As long as a woman’s body remains capable of producing an egg, her chances of conceiving are alive.
2- You can’t increase your chances of getting pregnant
Despite the female age, she can get pregnant but the probability can vary. The chances of pregnancy reduce with female age. Mostly, it is believed that a woman can’t increase her chance of getting pregnant in the late ’30s or even after that. To your surprise, there exist technologies that can significantly increase a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant.
My aunt went to Naz Hospital in Lahore, for infertility treatment. Her gynaecologist recommended her dietary supplements and properly tracked her menstrual cycle, which finally let her conceive.
3- If you don’t get pregnant, you are the ONLY culprit
Well, most of the time pregnancy is associated with the female body and its processes but that is not true in all cases. It is often said that you need to consult your doctor if you are having trouble getting pregnant.
If your partner is also in his 30’s or 40’s he might be the cause because age also affects the sperm quality in male other than the reduced sex drive. Apart from this, sperm of older age males are more susceptible to chromosomal abnormalities, so your male partner can be equally responsible for infertility or birth defects.
4- If you are physically healthy, you won’t have trouble getting pregnant
This is another misconception related to late pregnancies that if a woman seems physically active she can get pregnant without difficulty. Okay, I understand that you do yoga or lift weight but do your ovaries also do this? Of course not! So, you should separately evaluate your physical and reproductive health as a physically fit woman isn’t necessarily reproductively fit.
Here are a few things that can increase a woman’s chances of getting pregnant, including;
- Visiting your physician to consult when you are planning to get pregnant. A physician can monitor your risk of getting pregnant, any underlying health condition, ongoing medication and your current lifestyle.
- You can work on your lifestyle habits such as smoking, alcohol consumption and even unhealthy eating habits. Apart from these, you can try to maintain healthy body weight to make your body ready for childbearing.
- Moreover, you can look for fertility signs in your body that can affect your chances of getting pregnant.
- Upon your physician’s recommendation, you can start taking supplements that can improve your egg quality and number.