Higher risks of miscarriage: Risks of miscarriage increase as the mother ages and more so after 40. There are many cause factors, such as:
• Her egg quality is not optimum to be fertilised into a healthy baby
• Her womb is more likely to have muscle growths such as fibroids which may increase the chances of miscarriage
• Endometriosis and medical conditions like heart diseases, diabetes and kidney diseases are more common in older women. All these may cause miscarriage.
Increased chances of abnormal baby: Statistics have shown that chromosomal abnormalities (such as Down’s Syndrome) increase with the women’s age. The risk of Down’s Syndrome at 35 is about 1 in 400 pregnancies and at 40, 1 out of 100.
Complications during pregnancy and delivery:
• Premature births are more common in older women
• Probability of stillbirths increases with age
• High blood pressure, diabetes and other medical conditions are more common during pregnancy. All these conditions affect both the mother and baby. Labour is usually more difficult and a Caesarean section is more likely to be the mode of delivery
Risks of miscarriage and genetic abnormalities in babies also increase with the age of the father.