Pregnancy at 40: the risks and advice for best management
Employment, economic and relational stability, and the realization of one’s dreams are just a few reasons why more and more women are choosing to have children after 40. However, as age advances, the body and its reproductive capacity change.
In today’s blog post on Fertilab Barcelona, we will discuss a very important topic: fertility in women over 40 and the factors that influence it. We will finally look at the risks of pregnancy and advice for successfully completing it.
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Fertility in Women Over 40: How does it change?
Among the variables of major relevance is age. It’s important to note: there are many success cases in pregnancies over 40, but it’s essential to be aware of the commitment and risks involved in such a decision. This is because as age advances, there is a progressive reduction in oocytes.
However, cases of maternity after 40 are increasing, particularly in the western world. For example, Italy is the first European country, with over 50% of women having their first child after 31.
As we’ve seen, age plays a crucial role, to the point that a 40-year-old woman has a conception probability half that of a 20-year-old woman.
But besides age, there’s much more. Among other variables that affect fertility, the most relevant are lifestyle, physical activity, diet type, and the presence or absence of smoking and alcohol.
What are the risks for the mother?
Among the most common risks for women are ectopic pregnancy, which in some cases leads to termination of the pregnancy, and therefore miscarriage. Other risks include placenta previa, postpartum hemorrhage, preterm birth, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and maternal death.
What are the risks for the baby?
In most cases, births from women over 40 occur successfully and without complications. Nevertheless, it’s good to consider potential risks for the baby. Among these, the main ones are: preterm birth, chromosomal abnormalities, low birth weight, reduced fetal growth, and placental abruption.
Is it possible to resort to assisted reproduction after 40?
Advancements in the field of assisted reproduction play a fundamental role today for many women who wish to have children after 40. Thanks to the experience gained over more than twenty years, our specialists will guarantee optimal treatments also in the field of fertility preservation through oocyte vitrification.
What advice for moms over 40?
There are many studies showing the advantages of having a child at 40: at this age, in fact, women face motherhood in a more mature and aware manner, bringing benefits to the child as well.
The first step to serenely experiencing motherhood remains, however, the awareness of the risks and the commitment involved.
The main advice from experts is to adopt a healthy and balanced lifestyle, free from alcohol and smoking, accompanied by a balanced diet and physical activity. This is undoubtedly the best ally for all women, especially for those who decide to give birth to a child.