Giving birth is such a unique experience that women go through. An act that was viewed, in distant past, as the most magnificent and awed manifestation of femininity. And unlike the timeless fertility of goddesses of the ancient mythologies, the earthly goddesses’ fertility is transient. Therefore the older you get, the more challenges you face in getting pregnant and alongside the journey of motherhood that follows, especially after 40.
What are the odds?
However pregnancy does occur among 40-plus women, fertility specialists say that after 38 the chances of pregnancy using your own eggs reduce, drop to 5% by reaching 40s then only 1% when crossing 43. And if you have managed to cross this barrier, then I congratulate and wish you a continuing progress along the rest of the way.
Pros and cons
In fact, as every thing in life, pregnancy after 40 has positive and negative facets. The positives are more related to the personality growth and financial state. Probably the older you get the more experienced, wiser and economically secured you become. Here the delay of pregnancy could give you the time to evolve, deepen your relationship with your life-partner and add solidity to your career. These factors give parents a better judgment on things and priorities in life and form a healthy environment to raise a kid.
On the other hand, there are problems for late conceiving. There’s a severe drop in fertility in the 40s due to the decrease of the egg supply. But a study in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility showed that medical treatment for infertility raises the odds of 40 year old women to get pregnant using their own eggs to 25%. Also, it’s more likely to miscarriage after 40 as older eggs are more likely to have chromosomal problems. Among the 40- year- old conceived women in the previous study, the miscarriage rate was 24%. In 40s, more than 20s and 30s, you’re more likely to have high blood pressure, diabetes and placental problems.
For your baby, the chances are higher to give birth to a preterm or low-birth-weight baby. Also, there are odds of having a baby with Down syndrome as well as other chromosomal abnormalities. That’s why a regular follow up with a physician is highly advisable in order to spot any of these abnormalities early.
Advanced medical care reduces the risks
Despite the obstacles, getting pregnant at 40 today is less risky than it was before. In general, women are healthier, follow the instructions of doctors and medical care services have developed. And for safer trip through pregnancy doctors advise you to solve health- issues, if you have any, like high-blood-pressure and diabetes as pregnancy magnifies their effects. Also, you have to work hard on reaching a healthy weight either by increasing or decreasing your weight. Thus it’s vital to develop a healthy diet. Foods that include Folic acid are required, such as dark green leafy vegetables and oranges. It’s a Vitamin-B effective in protecting your baby from suffering neural tube defects. And with the aid of vitamin B12, it forms healthy red blood cells for the mother.