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Getting pregnant after 35 years of age can be a challenge for many couples, as the fertility rate begins to decline as early as age 30. But does that mean a couple shouldn’t try conceiving at all? The answer is no. Getting pregnant after 35 years of age can be challenging, but it’s not impossible! We’ll discuss how the body works after 35 years of age and what one can do for a healthy pregnancy.
Does Age Factor Affect Fertility?
Yes, age affects fertility levels in both men and women. Age plays an important role in conception. It can affect a woman’s chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby. Furthermore, as one ages, their chances of being exposed to different medical conditions and chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure are also higher. Medical conditions can also affect the fertility levels in a couple.
Complications of Pregnancy After Age 35
The various complications in pregnancy after 35 tend to arise due to different medical conditions. Here are some complications that may arise in pregnancy after 35 years of age.
- Chances of giving birth to a low-birth weight baby or a premature baby are higher. There could also be a chance of the baby being born with genetic disorders.
- There’s a risk of multiple pregnancy (twins, triplets, and quadruplets) because of ART procedures.
- Fertility problems could arise, including having trouble getting pregnant due to fewer eggs in the ovulation phase.
- In the case of pre-existing diabetes, which damages different internal organs, can cause fertility problems.
- There’s a risk of gestational diabetes and medical conditions like preeclampsia, hypertension, etc.
- There’s a chance of stillbirths (when babies die inside the womb after 20 weeks of pregnancy), miscarriage, and birth defects (like babies being born with Down syndrome and chromosomal abnormalities).
What Tests Need to Be Done to Have a Healthy Pregnancy After 35?
Getting a prenatal test and healthcare evaluation are priorities for pregnant mothers. Do not wait until the last moment and make sure you do the following tests before and after your pregnancy.
Before Pregnancy Test:
The two main issues that arise during this time are fertility problems or need diet/mental health issues. In these cases, it is imperative that you converse with your local medical professional and get an updated evaluation of your health. A before-pregnancy test will reveal whether or not you’re fit for pregnancy.
- Get preconception counselling done and a medical evaluation. Talk to your doctor regarding your medical history. These include genetic health conditions that run in the family. This will be useful in figuring out whether or not your baby will be at risk of having birth defects and chromosomal abnormalities.
- In case you are suffering from chronic medical ailments like diabetes, high blood pressure, or depression, you must seek treatment for them before choosing to get pregnant.
- Overweight and obese women are at a higher risk of developing pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Lose your weight and go on a nutritional diet plan (combined with exercise regimes) to shed those pounds and prepare for a safer pregnancy.
- 400 mcg folic acid multivitamin supplements are recommended for women who are planning on becoming pregnant. Folic acid promotes proper cell and tissue growth in the body and prevents birth and neural tube development defects in babies.
- Avoid smoking, overdosing on prescription drugs or using illicit drugs. These not only harm you but can put the health of the foetus at risk. Some of the issues that can crop up because of this include premature and underweight babies.
- Avoid exposure to unsafe chemicals at home and outdoors, including chemicals from certain cleaning products and detergents. These may lead to birth defects in babies.
After Pregnancy Test:
Once you find out you are pregnant, you should get the following tests done.
- Go to all your prenatal tests and get a healthcare evaluation even if you feel fine. We recommend cell-free DNA foetal screening and maternal blood screening for mothers who recently became pregnant. Diagnostic tests like chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis will uncover whether or not your baby is at risk of developing certain birth defects if blood tests are abnormal. Ask your trusted health professional whether you need any vaccinations. Women are usually expected to have a flu shot after getting pregnant.
- Check with your healthcare provider or doctor regarding any existing medications you take and their dosages after the pregnancy. You may need to alter dosages or change medications depending on how they affect your baby and the overall pregnancy.
- Your emotional state matters during a pregnancy. Practice yoga, meditation and participate in stress-free activities which make you feel good and happy. Get plenty of rest and keep yourself mentally and emotionally healthy.
- You will need to gain weight during pregnancy. Ask your doctor how much you need to gain and consult with your dietician regarding adding specific supplements and foods to your diet. Make sure you’re not sedentary and stay moderately active for a healthy delivery.
How Can You Lower the Risk of Pregnancy Problems?
If you’re trying to conceive after 35 years of age, here’s what you can do to lower your risk of pregnancy complications.
- Avoid illicit drugs, caffeine, smoking, and alcohol consumption.
- Stay healthy by being active and living on a healthy, nutritionally-balanced diet.
- Take care of your emotional and mental wellbeing by being stress-free through yoga, meditation, and regular exercise.
- Give it time. Ideally, it takes between 1 to 2 years for older women to conceive, so stay positive and do not expect results immediately.
- Maintain a healthy weight since being overweight or underweight affects hormonal functions.
- Consider shopping for fertility screening instruments and over-the-counter at-home fertility screening tests. These can be used for checking your basal body temperature, state of cervical fluids and identifying whether your partner has any fertility problems. This will make things go a lot smoother as they will help pinpoint the ideal time for regular intercourse for conception.
- Consider taking a supplement that contains DHEA. This will bolster the quality of your eggs during ovulation and increase the chances of fertilization.
- In some instances, you may have tried every method stated above and still can’t seem to conceive after a period of six months. If this is so, then it’s time to visit your healthcare provider or a doctor for undergoing medically-diagnosed fertility tests.
What Women Can Do If They Are Having Trouble Getting Pregnant
Here are some ways in which you can increase your chances of conception.
- Follow a Healthy Lifestyle: Maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding drugs, and alcohol and eating a healthy diet are everyday choices that you need to make. It can treat your fertility problems and make it easier getting pregnant after 35 naturally. Make sure you’re physically active and that your partner is too.
- Rest and Relax: Life can be hectic for you but that shouldn’t stop you from spending the time to relax mentally and emotionally. These are natural therapies for any woman who wishes to have a healthy pregnancy after 35. You can try attending yoga classes, Tai Chi, Qi Gong and try out Art therapy for a dose of relaxation and everyday holistic well-being.
- Medical Methods: You can try artificial insemination, IVF and variations including ICSI if you’re having trouble getting pregnant. Hormone therapy is recommended as well. However, keep in mind that none of these methods will guarantee successful conception or pregnancy since success rates vary with age and individual profiles.
The best thing you can do is speak to a doctor you trust to understand what you can do to increase your chances of conception if you are 35 years of age or above.
Things to Remember
Before you lose heart, please remember that it takes time to conceive naturally if you’re 35 years of age or older. Changing your lifestyle and habits into healthier ones are things every woman should strive for before deciding to conceive or have a baby. Discuss with your partner any fertility problems and attend couples’ therapy (if you’re having relationship issues) to make sure that you are both on the same page. After that, make sure to follow up with a fertility specialist before getting pregnant and you’ll be good to go.
It’s not impossible to get pregnant after 35. In fact, if you live healthily and take good care of yourself, your chances of getting pregnant after 35 might increase. Start preparing early, and you’ll thank yourself down the line.