What is High-Risk Pregnancy?
Being pregnant can be a special and exciting experience. However, for some women there may be increased risks associated with pregnancy. High-risk pregnancy is when there is an increased possibility for potential health problems for a pregnant woman and her baby. Generally, health care providers consider women over the age of 35, and even some younger women, to be of high risk pregnancies.
What Age Are You Considered High Risk Pregnancy?
There are fewer risks for pregnant women who are under 35 years of age. While there is not a set age for when a woman is considered to have a high-risk pregnancy, most health care providers will consider women over 35 to be in the high-risk category. For this reason, providers will usually offer more comprehensive prenatal care and additional testing to women over 35.
This age limitation is based on several factors including:
- The risk of genetic abnormality increases with age.
- The fertility rate decreases in a woman’s thirties.
- The risk of miscarriage increases.
Let’s take a deeper dive in to both of the mentioned points:
Genetic abnormalities such as Down Syndrome become more likely with advanced maternal age. As a woman ages, the egg quality decreases and increases the risk of genetic abnormalities. This is the most significant factor prompting a decision for high-risk pregnancies for women over 35 years of age.
Fertility for a woman increases up to her mid-thirties and then begins to decline. This is important for women looking to get pregnant because older women may have difficulty conceiving and sustaining a pregnancy.
Risk of Miscarriage
Although miscarriage can happen at any age, the risk increases with age. A woman in her mid-thirties has a one in four chance of having a miscarriage while women in their early thirties have a one in five chance of having a miscarriage. As a woman ages, the risk of a miscarriage increases significantly.
To summarize, high-risk pregnancies are an important consideration for women over the age of 35. This includes genetic abnormalities, difficulty conceiving and sustaining a pregnancy, and the increased risk of a miscarriage. It is important for women over the age of 35 to discuss prenatal care and additional testing with their health care provider.
Ultimately, every woman and pregnancy are different. It is important to discuss with your care provider if you have any concerns regarding your age or any potential risks associated with pregnancy.
**Searching for information on high-risk pregnancies? Click [here](www.highriskpregnancy.org) to read more.**
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