Pregnant At 35 - Risk Pregnancy - Late Mothers

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Pregnant At 35 - Risk Pregnancy - Late Mothers
Pregnant At 35 - Risk Pregnancy - Late Mothers

Video: Pregnant At 35 - Risk Pregnancy - Late Mothers

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Video: Pregnancy Beyond Age 35 – Reviewing the Risks 2023, January

"Late mothers" - pregnant from 35

There has been a clear trend towards late motherhood in recent decades. From a medical point of view, first-time women from the age of 35 are considered late-giving births and therefore high-risk pregnancies. Some complications are more common as the mother ages. However, a late pregnancy can also go without any problems.

The reasons why many women become pregnant later today vary. In addition to more reliable contraceptive options and more progressive fertility treatments, social aspects such as growing career opportunities or later marriage also contribute.


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  • How common are late pregnancies?
  • What complications can arise in late pregnancies?
  • How does the birth take place in late pregnancies?

How common are late pregnancies?

The proportion of women who only have children at a later stage in life has been rising continuously for years. For comparison: In the late 1980s, the average age of women in Austria when their first child was born was 26 years. By 2001 it had risen to 29 years, in 2011 it was already 30 years and in 2018 it was 31 years. A total of 256 women were even 45 years or older when they gave birth in 2018.

What complications can arise in late pregnancies?

From a medical point of view, first-time women from the age of 35 are considered late-giving births and therefore high-risk pregnancies. However, this does not mean that pregnant women from this age inevitably have to expect complications. Even at an advanced age, pregnancy can go without any problems. Therefore, from a medical perspective, there is no reason to generally advise women over 35 against pregnancy.

In addition to the age of the expectant mother, other factors such as lifestyle, general health and any existing chronic pre-existing conditions must be assessed in order to assess the individual risk of complications during pregnancy.

During the preventive examinations, greater attention is paid to risk factors that may be related to the mother's age. These include, for example, an increased blood sugar level or gestational diabetes. The risk of diabetes increases with age, that is, late births are more likely to develop gestational diabetes than younger pregnant women. This can be associated with different complications for mother and child. An oral glucose tolerance test (oGTT, sugar stress test) can be used to determine whether the pregnant woman has diabetes. In Austria, the sugar exposure test is carried out free of charge in the 25th to 28th week of pregnancy as part of the mother-child pass examinations.

The risk of high blood pressure or pregnancy high blood pressure is also significantly increased in expectant mothers over 35 years of age. This also increases the risk of preeclampsia. More on the topic: diseases during pregnancy

In addition, the attending physician will point out the possibility of prenatal diagnosis, as the older the mother, the greater the risk that the child will have a chromosomal abnormality. The best known form is Down syndrome, also known as trisomy 21. Whether there is actually a chromosomal disorder, however, can only be determined by a specific analysis of the child's cells - for example by examining the amniotic fluid (amniocentesis).

As a result of the increased risk of chromosomal abnormalities, the rate of miscarriages (especially in early pregnancy) also increases with the age of the pregnant woman. In addition, more frequent premature births, pregnancies outside the uterus (eg ectopic pregnancy), placental complications (placenta previa, premature placental detachment) and a higher rate of newborns with lower birth weights were observed in older pregnant women. More on the topic: Birth complications

How does the birth take place in late pregnancies?

In general, the birth process does not differ from that of younger women. However, the number of caesarean sections increases significantly with the age of the pregnant woman, especially among first-time women. In Austria in 2018, pregnant women who were 35 years of age or older had a caesarean section 1.6 times more often than women under 25 years of age (caesarean section rate 36.9% compared to 23.5%).

The reasons for this are different: on the one hand, child positional anomalies such as breeches occur more frequently in late mothers. Today these are mostly an indication for a caesarean section. Medical complications such as gestational diabetes, high blood pressure or preeclampsia can also make a caesarean section necessary. On the other hand, the need for security is often more in the foreground with late births, which is why they decide more often than younger women to have a planned caesarean section. In addition, the rate of multiple pregnancies is higher in late mothers, who are often delivered by caesarean section. More on the topic: Multiple birth

However, if there are no reasons against it from a medical point of view, there is no compelling reason for a caesarean section even for older pregnant women.

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