What women need to know about pregnancy after 35
The world is changing, and more women are considering pregnancy after 35. As more women are delaying motherhood to achieve personal and professional goals, our Austin fertility doctors want women to understand the realities of conceiving after age 35.
The team at Texas Fertility Center successfully treats many women who want to conceive after 35, but it’s important to have realistic expectations before getting started.
The facts about pregnancy after 35
A woman may be healthy and active, but her egg supply (ovarian reserve) will still decline with age. At birth, women have all the eggs they will ever have. A baby girl has about five to six million eggs when she is born. By the time she reaches puberty, she has about 300,000 eggs. Throughout her lifetime, she will ovulate about 450 eggs.
The remaining eggs will undergo programmed cell death (atresia). The rate of this cell death significantly increases in a woman’s late-30s and early-40s. This means that a woman loses more eggs as she gets older.
Pregnancy after 35 is possible and becoming more common. However, our Austin fertility doctors want you to know that a woman’s eggs are more likely to contain chromosomal defects in her late-30s and early-40s. Therefore, the chance of pregnancy decreases with age, while the risk of miscarriage or having a baby with a birth defect increase.
Exploring the risks of pregnancy after 35
Our Austin fertility center explains to patients that pregnancy after 35 can come with certain risks. These include gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, an increased risk of preterm birth and an increased risk of C-section.
Women can decrease their risk of experiencing these problems by reaching optimal health before conceiving. For example, reaching a healthy weight and glucose level can help prevent gestational diabetes, while having a healthy weight and blood pressure before pregnancy can help women avoid preeclampsia.
Before attempting pregnancy after 35, our team recommends visiting a doctor to make sure your body is healthy enough for pregnancy. Being pregnant puts a strain on the body, so it’s important to be as healthy as possible before conceiving.
If you are healthy but struggling to conceive after six months of trying, we recommend visiting our Austin fertility doctors. They can perform diagnostic testing to identify any fertility issues. Using this information, they will develop an individualized treatment plan for you to help make pregnancy possible after 35.
Most pregnancies after 35 produce healthy babies. If you are considering pregnancy after 35, contact our Austin fertility center to get treatment and support.