The Shift from "Geriatric Pregnancy"
Advanced maternal age, previously known as "geriatric pregnancy," refers to pregnancies in women aged 35 or older. This age is significant as fertility begins to decline, and the risk of complications increases. The quality and quantity of eggs decrease with age, leading to challenges in getting pregnant.
The Decline of Women's Fertility: Age 32 Onwards
Women's fertility starts to decrease around age 32 and more rapidly after 37. Risks associated with advanced maternal age include chromosomal abnormalities, miscarriage, preterm delivery, gestational diabetes, hypertensive disorders, and even stroke or heart attack. For example, the risk of Down syndrome increases to 1 in 200 for women over 35, compared to 1 in 1,400 for those under 25.
Care Protocols for Advanced Maternal Age Pregnancies: Emotional Support and Regular Testing
Care for advanced maternal age pregnancies doesn't differ significantly from regular pregnancies, but pre-pregnancy risk assessments and regular testing are often performed. Emotional support is also vital, as anxiety and depression rates may be higher in this age group.
Assisted Reproduction and Fertility Preservation: Modern Tools for Women Over 35
Assisted reproduction and fertility preservation options like egg freezing and in vitro fertilization have become essential tools. These technologies offer opportunities for women who wish to preserve their fertility or need assistance in conceiving. However, they can be costly and are often not covered by insurance.
Navigating Pregnancy at Advanced Maternal Age: The Importance of Personalized Care
In conclusion, advanced maternal age brings specific challenges and risks, but with proper care, understanding, and the utilization of modern reproductive technologies, many of these challenges can be managed. Finding a trusted OB-GYN who can provide personalized care and address concerns is key to navigating pregnancy at an advanced maternal age.
Read the Full Article Here: from USNews Health featuring Our partners at Women's Care of Beverly Hills Medical Group, Dr. Taaly Silberstein and Dr. David Finke