A woman’s body undergoes so many changes in a woman’s lifetime. Oftentimes, these changes and symptoms indicate the age of a woman or the transition stages that she goes through to wit: when a girl hits her teens-she experiences menstruation -indicating that her body is ready for childbearing. When a woman hits her late 30’s onwards-she experiences the first signs of perimenopause which is defined as the process of change a woman feels leading to menopause. Perimenopause lasts no less than two years to over eight years. Then in her 50’s a woman goes through her menopause-which is the end of her menstrual period. So, the various phases a woman’s body goes through cannot belie her real age.
Perimenopause is the period when a woman’s body experiences a decline in the production of ovum (egg supply) both in quantity and quality. This results in a change in hormones and premenstrual syndrome symptoms (PMS) that are more intense or of a different nature than previously felt. Perimenopause marks the beginning of the end-beginning of the decline of a woman’s child bearing stage.
What are the odds of a woman getting pregnant when she is over 35?
The woman’s ovulation and menstruation becomes irregular when a woman’s supply of ova or egg continues to decline. The decline in a woman’s egg supply results in diminished fertility and is most noticeable after the mid 30s.
In their 40’s, the menstrual cycle of a woman becomes increasingly irregular and may do so until menopause and this also compromises fertility. Often, health-conscious women in this age group do not seek prenatal care when they become pregnant; they often assume that the skipped period which is the first sign of pregnancy is instead the first sign of menopause.
What are the risks of a woman getting pregnant when she is over 35?
As an outcome of irregular production of hormones Perimenopausal pregnancy becomes high risk-officially, pregnancies at age 35 are high risks. However, if a woman is fit and healthy, she may enjoy the energy usually associated with a younger woman, if and when she becomes pregnant at age 35 and over. Doctors say that a woman’s physical well-being during pregnancy depends more on who she is than how old she is. Nevertheless, a woman should be aware of chronic conditions that complicate pregnancy where it first becomes evident. These chronic conditions can be diabetes or high blood pressure. Also, even if one is in tip top shape, starting at the age of 35, there is an increasing risk for pregnancy-specific conditions including gestational diabetes.
Pregnancies at 35 and over, have the odds of giving birth to a baby with a chromosomal problem such as Down syndrome where a baby is born with an extra chromosome. Getting pregnant during perimenopause also gives the risk of miscarriage from amniocentesis, which is a diagnostic test given to look for chromosomal defects by examining the amniotic fluid. This test calls for the fluid being removed through a needle inserted in the mother’s abdomen. Although the risk is still minimal, the risk is significantly higher when compared to a woman in her twenties. Other risk a woman may encounter at perimenopause pregnancy is Placenta Previa, where the placenta grows near the cervix and causes bleeding.
Perimenopausal pregnancy when over 35 and over 40, medically speaking, is the most difficult age for pregnancy. At this decade, a woman has used up the highest-quality ova, slowing down conception. The ova that are now left in the body are those that take the longest to respond to the body’s cues for release, and which also don’t function well during fertilization. This condition or state of the ova further raises the risk of chromosomal abnormalities and miscarriage.
It is with interest to note however that while is now at this age that is hardest, to get pregnant, the likelihood to carry multiples – in itself another high-risk pregnancy — even without medical intervention is not far-off. A possible reason could be that the shift in hormone levels during menopause stimulates the release of more than one egg at ovulation — like a natural fertility drug.
Standard tests on pregnancies become risky when given to pregnant women over 35 since it entails the removal of tissue from the placenta risking a miscarriage albeit a low level.
Pregnancy after the age of 35 may worsen chronic conditions as well as early signs of aging, such as stiff, sore joints. Varicose veins may multiply and worsen. A slower metabolism may result in much weight gain, lethargy and sluggishness.
So, would you dare defy the odds and face the risks and get pregnant when you are over 35?
Later pregnancies have physical downsides as doctors are quick to point out but a list of other advantages balance the risks. For starters, greater financial stability, may enable one to focus more on motherhood. Having proven themselves professionally, women in their mid-thirties and over, may be more flexible and patient having faced more challenges in their lifetime.