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Pregnancy At 35: What To Expect

D Tejaswi

4 min read

The right time to have a baby is whenever you are ready.

Today, many women who want children are taking their time to get pregnant—whether it’s for financial stability, career growth, or personal choice. With celebrities like Kareena Kapoor Khan, Neha Dhupia and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan having babies later in their 30s, motherhood at 35 and above is a well-accepted idea today. A Pew Research Center Survey says that for most highly educated women, motherhood doesn’t start until the 30s. The Morning Consult, a global intelligence company, finds that many millennials are delaying having children to focus on other areas such as job security, career growth, and finances.

“The advantages of getting pregnant at advanced maternal age are manifold as the woman is better educated, has more income and more resources for their children,” says Dr Vimee Bindra, obstetrician and gynaecologist, Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad. A study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology backs the idea that children born to older mothers today are more likely to perform better in cognitive ability tests than those born to younger mothers.

Dr Vimee Bindra, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad answers some pertinent questions around getting pregnant at 35.

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What about the biological clock?

“You can definitely conceive naturally at 35 if you have a quality ovarian reserve with regular cycles, healthy fallopian tubes and a normal semen analysis (male factor),” explains Bindra. “Over the quantity, it is the quality of the egg that really matters,” quotes a study published in a Journal of American Medical Association. One option is egg freezing. Emma Roberts, Kourtney Kardashian, and Amy Schumer have, in the past, opened up about their egg freezing experience. It is an evolving option among many young women today.

How long does it take to conceive?

According to National Health Services, UK, for couples aged between 35-39, 82% conceive after 1 year and 90% after 2 years. Even couples, aged 19-26 conceive in a year.

When is the right time to consult a doctor for fertility?

If a couple hasn’t become pregnant after a year of having unprotected intercourse, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recommends that couples seek professional advice.

What is the success rate of IVF after 35?

IVF success rate, in general, is 30-35% in a good quality-controlled laboratory, but the success of IVF depends on several factors and the quality of oocytes (a cell from the ovary which may form an egg) obtained.

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What screening tests should one undergo when pregnant at 35?

Routine screening for chromosomal abnormalities by double marker test or first trimester quad screening after Nuchal Translucency scan at 11-13 weeks 6 days is recommended. For high-risk of pregnancy after 35, the doctor may recommend Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) or amniocentesis. For known genetic disorders, chorionic villus sampling or gene testing may be needed.

What are the complications that arise in pregnancy at 35?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) quotes that for healthy couples in their early 30s, around 1 in 4 women will get pregnant in any single menstrual cycle. By the age of 40, 1 in 10 will get pregnant within one cycle. With the correct medical care, doctors do ensure a safe pregnancy.

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What role can lifestyle and diet play?

Staying active and doing regular physical activity helps reduce discomfort, increase energy levels, and improve overall health. A healthy lifestyle prepares a woman for labour and childbirth by increasing muscle strength

Proper diet is essential as a woman needs more folic acid, iron, calcium and vitamin D and other essential micronutrients when planning the pregnancy. Also, the diet should help in maintaining a proper BMI. Appropriate BMI helps in avoiding many complications and enhances fertility as well. Gaining the right weight supports the baby’s health and also makes it easier for a woman to shed extra kilos post-delivery.

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Staying active and doing regular physical activity helps reduce discomfort, increase energy levels, and improve overall health. A healthy lifestyle prepares a woman for labour and childbirth by increasing muscle strength.

Checklist for Pregnancy at 35

  1. Start taking prenatal vitamins
  2. Find a prenatal care provider
  3. Stay active and eat healthy
  4. Go for regular prenatal care and follow your doctor’s advice
  5. Avoid smoking and alcohol

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