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Risks and Complications of Pregnancy with Increasing Age
Advisor: D. French
Types of abnormalities:
Each of these chromosomal abnormalities causes different characteristic changes of the fetus, various mental changes, and altered life expectancies of the neonate.
The incidence of Down syndrome among all newborns is about 1:800. For mothers age 35, the incidence is 1:385, and for mothers age 45, the incidence is 1:33 (Beckmann et al., 2006).
Men with advancing paternal age also have an increased risk of producing a child with an autosomal dominant disease, like Marfan syndrome, because of increased genetic mutations (Heffner, 2004).
Women who have a BMI over 29 have increased risks, regardless of age, including preeclampsia, thromboembolism, C-section, wound infection, and anesthesia complications (Montan, 2007).
Labor and Delivery
Mothers of advancing age may have a number of increased risks surrounding pregnancy to consider before conception and during pregnancy. The risks in each stage of the process are increased in comparison to their younger counterparts.
It is certainly possible for these women to conceive, have healthy pregnancies, and to bear healthy babies. Advancing age is not a reason to abstain from becoming pregnant, but it does carry increased risks that should be discussed and watched for by the practitioner and the patient.