Late pregnancies

Lifestyles have changed dramatically over the past couple of decades with women choosing to have babies later in life. These numbers have quadrupled over the last twenty years.

Women over the age of 38, embarking on a pregnancy are monitored much more very carefully.

The risks of having a pregnancy later in life

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure) and its consequences
    • A pre-eclampsia: which is associated with hypertension, oedema and protein in the urine
    • A detachment of the placenta
    • A low birthweight baby
  • Gestational diabetes of which the frequency increases after 40.
  • The risk of premature labour increases after 40.
  • Uterine fibroids are more frequent.
  • Caeserean sections are also more common, as they happen twice as often.
  • The risk of Down syndrome is increased.
  • Miscarriages are more frequent

A woman's fertility decreases with age, with a sharp drop after the age of 35. It is recommended that pre-conceptual advice is given to these women and that they seek medical advice if any problems should arise in conceiving.