Advanced maternal age is a medical term used to describe pregnancy in women who are 35 years or older at the time of delivery. This term is used because women who become pregnant at an older age are at an increased risk of certain complications during pregnancy and childbirth.
Some of the risks associated with advanced maternal age include:
- Higher risk of chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus, such as Down syndrome.
- Increased risk of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and preeclampsia.
- Greater likelihood of preterm labor and delivery.
- Higher risk of placenta previa, a condition in which the placenta covers the cervix, which can cause bleeding and require a cesarean delivery.
- Increased risk of stillbirth and infant mortality.
However, it is important to note that many women who have pregnancies at an advanced maternal age have successful pregnancies and healthy babies. It is also possible for younger women to experience some of the complications associated with advanced maternal age.
To mitigate some of the risks associated with advanced maternal age, women may be offered additional prenatal testing and monitoring, such as amniocentesis or noninvasive prenatal testing, to assess the health of the fetus. Women may also be advised to make certain lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regimen, to promote a healthy pregnancy.