How Does Age Affect Fertility?
- A decrease in the number and health of the eggs to be ovulated.
- Changes in the hormones resulting in altered ovulation.
- Fewer number of eggs.
- A decrease in sperm counts.
- A decrease in the frequency of intercourse.
- The presence of other medical and gynecologic conditions, such as endometriosis, which may interfere with conception.
Pregnancy After Age 35, Is It Safe?
Pregnancy After Age 35, Does the Risk Birth Defects Increase?
Pregnancy After Age 35, Will the Risk of Miscarriage Increase?
Pregnancy After Age 35, What Other Problems can Arise?
- High blood pressure and diabetes can develop for the first time during pregnancy, and women over the age of 30 are at increased risk. If you are pregnant and over age 35, this makes it especially important that you get early and regular prenatal care to ensure early diagnosis and proper treatment.
- Stillbirth (delivery of a baby that has died before birth) is more common in women over age 35. Older women are also more likely to have low-birth weight babies (weighing less than 5.5 pounds at birth).
- Cesarean birth is also slightly more common for women having their first child after age 35.
Pregnancy After Age 35, How Can I Increase My Chances of Having a Healthy Baby?
- Be sure to get enough folic acid in your diet. The current recommendation for women of childbearing age is to take a daily supplement containing at least 0.4 mg. of folic acid, in addition to consuming foods naturally rich in folic acid. Folic acid is naturally contained in leafy green vegetables, dried beans, liver and some citrus fruits.
- Limit your caffeine consumption. Do not have more than 300 mg. of caffeine per day. The caffeine content in various drinks depends on the beans or leaves used and how it is prepared. An 8-ounce cup of coffee has about 150 mg on average while black tea has about 80 mg of caffeine. A 12-ounce glass of caffeinated soda contains anywhere from 30-60 mg of caffeine. Remember, chocolate contains caffeine -- the amount of caffeine in a chocolate bar is equal to 1/4 cup of coffee.
- Maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet and eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients you need. Choose foods high in starch and fiber. Make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals in your daily diet. Eat and drink at least 4 servings of dairy products and calcium-rich foods a day, choose at least one source each of Vitamin C, Vitamin A and folic acid every day.
- Exercise regularly. Review your exercise program with your health care provider. Generally, you may continue your normal exercise routine throughout pregnancy unless you are instructed to decrease or modify your activities.
- Don't drink alcohol during pregnancy and don't use any medications unless recommended by your doctor.
- Don't smoke during pregnancy.