The Truth About Pregnancy After Age 35

(Originally Posted on Sep 10, 2014)

More women than ever before are delaying getting pregnant; According to the CDC, in 1970 only 1 out of 100 births were to a woman over 35, now the figure is 1 in 12.

While increased maternal age does come with some increased risks, it’s important to separate out the media hype from valid information and to realize that there are many actions women over 35 can take to mitigate their risks.

The Board Certified OB GYN doctors at Palm Beach Obstetrics & Gynecology can help you assess these risks through preconception counseling, fetal testing, and consistent prenatal care to monitor you and your baby’s health.

Decrease in Fertility

One of the greatest risks of delaying pregnancy until after age 35 is that it becomes more difficult to actually get pregnant. Fertility starts declining gradually at age 32 and then more rapidly by age 37. By the age of 42, the patient only has a 15% chance of a spontaneous pregnancy.

Increase in Miscarriages

Unfortunately, women over 35 have a harder time keeping a pregnancy; women who get pregnant between 35 and 45 years of age have a 30-40 percent chance of miscarrying. In addition, women who get pregnant after age 35 are statistically more likely to have certain complications of pregnancy.

These can include:

Women over 35 are also have an increased risk of certain chromosomal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome, also known as “trisomy 21”. However, just because these problems are more common in pregnancies later in life doesn’t mean you can’t have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

In fact, most moms over 35 have uneventful pregnancies and healthy babies. Just keep in mind that it’s important to weigh the risks and benefits when waiting to have a baby.

How to Decrease These Risks

You can lower some of these risks by:

  1. Have a consultation before you get pregnant.
  2. Get early prenatal care.
  3. Take supplements your healthcare provider recommends, such as folic acid.
  4. Manage any chronic conditions.
  5. Maintain good general health with proper diet, exercise and stress management.

Cell-Free Fetal DNA Testing Available

Palm Beach Obstetrics and Gynecology is happy to offer pregnant moms a cutting edge technology called cell-free fetal DNA testing. With this simple blood test, we can detect if you are at increased risk of having a fetus with Down Syndrome and several other chromosomal abnormalities.

Although a positive result on the cell-free fetal DNA testing would need to be confirmed by additional tests, this exciting development allows moms to avoid more routine invasive testing such an amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling.

Caring and Compassionate OB/GYN Doctors in Palm Beach County

Are you over 35 and thinking about getting pregnant? Building a relationship with a Board Certified OB/GYN you trust is an important first step. We are proud to offer state-of-the-art technology along with risk counseling and reassurance.

Please call Palm Beach Obstetrics & Gynecology today at (561) 434-0111 or request to schedule your appointment online. Our practice offers three convenient OB GYN doctor’s offices in Lake Worth, West Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. We accept most insurance carriers and are currently welcoming new patients.


1. American Pregnancy Association Fact Sheet on Getting Pregnant After 35

2. American Society for Reproductive Medicine: Female Age Related Fertility Decline

3. CDC Report: Delayed Childbearing: More Women Are Having Their First Child Later in Life

4. March of Dimes: Pregnancy After Age 35

5. University of California San Francisco Medical Center Frequently Asked Questions About Cell-Free Fetal DNA Testings

Dr. Sam Lederman

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