Aging is a natural process of life. Women who haven’t given birth yet and are over 35 years are especially aware of this fact. Their biological clock is constantly counting down the hours before menopause checks in. The chances of getting pregnant after this age gets more improbable and declines even faster as you age further.

Why Does Fertility Reduce as We Age?

A woman is born with all the eggs that she will ever produce in her lifetime. As you age, however, your body gets exposed to fevers, inflammations and toxins that unfortunately find their way to the eggs, genetically modifying their DNA and weakening them. This change gets worse as you progress with age, and you can even become virtually infertile by the time you are 45 years of age.

Risk Factors for Conceiving at An Older Age

Certain health conditions are known to cause problems before and during pregnancy at a later age. These include:

These health conditions may play a major role in the development of a pregnancy. Complications that may be encountered during gestation or birth may involve the following:

Guidelines for Safe Conception and Delivery if You Are 35 Years Old and Above

Following the following steps before getting pregnant can help you support a healthy pregnancy. They include

  • Preconception checklist-this is a full check up to confirm your health. It is also important for you to be open about your family health history and the medication that you take if any to your conception doctor’s visit.
  • Lifestyle changes- Avoiding smoking, consumption of alcohol and the use of other recreational drugs is advised.
  • Checking your BMI and trying to remain within the limits of what is considered as healthy weight. Read more on weight gain in pregnancy.
  • Reducing stress
  • Getting treatment for existing conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. Be sure to inform your doctor about the drugs you are taking as it may be necessary to switch them out to drugs that are safe during pregnancy.
  • Taking a folic acid multivitamin which will prevent your baby from getting neural tube defects.

Steps to Take During Pregnancy

  • Schedule your first antenatal clinic as soon as you realize you are pregnant and ensure that you always attend subsequent clinics
  • Protect yourself from chemicals that may expose you or your pregnancy to risk
  • Eating healthy
  • Reduce any stress or its triggers

With that said it is important to note that achieving a healthy pregnancy and delivery, whether naturally or through options such as IVF,at a later age is possible with the right approach to its care.


Please note that development differs from one child to another. 

Content intended for educational purposes only, and not a substitute for medical advice from your doctor.

Be careful when using any products mentioned on this website. We hold no regulations for such products or their providers.

Last reviewed March 2019

Sources: acog, extendfertility, marchofdimes

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