Advanced Maternal Age

Posted by Ava Hill on June 27th, 2019

Advanced Maternal Age

Women are able to become pregnant at a very early age, but specialists state that an early pregnancy has a negative impact on their health. Probability of misbirth or risk that a child will have some mental or physical disorders is quite high. Thus, it is recommended not to advance with pregnancy till the young organism is ready for it. Some women are able to give birth to a healthy child when they are 17 years old, while others can manage in it only when they are 19 or even 21; all these cases are unique and refer separately to each individual. Specialists have different views on the issue of pregnancy, but almost all of them agree that late pregnancy bears a higher risk of complications.

Parkland Hospital provided research, which included examining pregnancy complications from 1988 till 2007. According to the results of this research, the age after 35 is considered to be extremely dangerous, especially for those women who suffer from diabetes and hypertension. Moreover, the death rate during childbirth is higher in women over 35 years old. Specialists state that, as a rule, babies with Down syndrome are more likely to be born to young women, but this risk increases with the age of a woman. Nevertheless, many health care providers state that the age of 35 years is the notional number. In fact, it means that women who are over 35 years old can bear healthy children. Hence, the primary issue is related towards the general health state of a mother and her lifestyle including pernicious habits and chronic illnesses. One may find many examples when women in their 30s and 40s have no problems during pregnancy, while the young women do. Thus, one may state that the risk of bad pregnancy over 35 is the issue that relates to a few factors that are not always dependant on age.

First of all, one should notice that the health state of a woman is the key point, which predetermines the proper pregnancy. Women who are 20 are considered to be healthier, and their organisms are strong and ready to bear children. Young people have fewer problems with their health state and thus, pregnancy is not considered to be a problem for a young woman. Speaking about a woman who is over 35, it is necessary to take into account that her health state is worse than the health state of a young woman and thus, pregnancy may cause some difficulties. In fact, it is a problem that is connected with the process of aging.

The organisms of people who are older need more individual's sources when coping with illnesses, stress, or when pregnancy is concerned. Nevertheless, one cannot change age, but a woman can change her nutrition and lifestyle, which are the essential aspects of a healthy pregnancy.

In the past, women usually continued bearing children till their reproductive age. However, there is a big difference between the past tendency and the current one. Today, women bear their first children at very late age. For instance, in Western Europe, the average age of the first childbirth is 26-29 years; in the United States, this figure reached 25 in 2010. Modern generation prefers to have children at more maternal age, and it is connected with educational, social and economic issues.

Women who are at their twenties have the highest level of fertility; after mid-twenties, it declines, and women lose their female fertility. Henri Leridon, an epidemiologist from the Institute of Health and Medical Research in France provided the statistic, which illustrates female fertility according to age. According to this statistic, 83 percent of women at the age of 30 will have a conception ending in a live birth within three years; 75 percent of women at the age of 35 will have a conception ending in a live birth within two years; 52 percent of women at the age of 40 years will have a conception ending in a live birth within one year.

However, the low level of fertility is not the only threat; another risk is birth defects. One of the most widespread chromosomal abnormalities is Down syndrome. The statistic provided below proves that the risk of bearing a child with Down syndrome increases according to the age. For instance, at the mid-twenties the possibility of bearing a child with Down syndrome is 1 in 1370; at thirties, it is 1 in 920; at 35, it is 1 in 315; at 40, it is 1 in 79; at 45, it is 1 in 34; at 50, it is 1 in 29.

Moreover, the advanced maternal age increases the possibility that a mother will not survive till her child is an adult. For example, the risk that a mother will not survive till her child is 18 years old is 1 percent if she were 25 years old. If a mother were 35 years old, this figure would rise till 5.5 percent; at the age of 45, it is almost 9.5 percent.

The results provided above demonstrate that women who are at the age of 35 and older are at risk to bear a child with a disorder, or there is a high chance that a mother will die at the early age of her child. Hence, the age of 35 years should not be considered to be the advanced maternal age according to the following reasons:

- The reproductive function becomes low, and it is harder for women to become pregnant. Hence, the birth rate among women at their 30s is lower comparing to women who are at their 20s.

- The possibility of various disorders including mental and physical; the disorders connected to the child development and growth, and also the possibility that a child will not survive after the birth.

- The risk that a mother will not survive during childbirth increases due to the age of a woman. For instance, the risk that a mother will die is 3.7 percent if she is at her twenties while it is 9.4 if she is 40.

- The possibility that a mother will not survive till her child is an adult is almost 7 percent if a woman is 40 years old.

According to the provided statistic, one may come to the conclusion that the advanced maternal age is considered to be dangerous for women. This phenomenon is connected with social processes, but still the modern medicine cannot guarantee the safety birth if a woman is older than 35 years old. Another side of this issue relates to individual aspects.

Older people pay less attention to their health state than the young generation. Young people are more active; they want to be fit, healthy, and they are ready to spend much time in gyms, following various diets, riding bicycles and spending much time on fresh air. People who are older have different preferences; they choose to drive a car because they do not want to spend their energy, and it does not require any muscle efforts; they do not follow any strict diets and like to drink a glass of whisky or wine after a hard working day. Hence, women till their 35 years have more problems with their health state, and it also impacts their ability to bear a healthy child.

According to this fact, the advanced maternal age can be examined from two different points of view. On the one hand, one presents the physiological factors, which are not connected with women’s way of life. These factors are influenced by the process of aging, and even healthy women are powerless when the point concerns their age. On the other hand, one may present the individual features, which are secondary, but still may have a strong impact on the birth rate among women who are at their thirties.

A healthy way of life, balanced nutrition and lack of bad habits have a direct impact on women’s health state and their ability of bearing a healthy child even at late thirties. Despite the fact that this condition is secondary, it still plays a vital role. The point is not in the age, but in the personal attitude to health, lifestyle and, as a result, to pregnancy. If a woman cares about her future child, she will start caring about her personal health from the early years. Hence, it can be said that age is a secondary aspect while social and individual issue plays the primary role. In conclusion, it can be stated that women at their thirties are able to give birth to a healthy child, but this age should not be considered to be an advanced one because the risks are higher than in the case of women at their twenties. Such researchers as Laridon and the above mentioned statistics prove that pregnancy after 35 is risky. Nevertheless, according to the professors Trivedi and Puri, the age is not the only factor that influences the pregnancy. Moreover, this factor is not even the key one.

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Ava Hill

About the Author

Ava Hill
Joined: April 11th, 2019
Articles Posted: 3

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