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This is why 37-year-old Meghan Markle’s Pregnancy is Being Called ‘Geriatric’!

A new royal infant is on the way, as Kensington Palace broadcasted that Duchess Meghan would expect her first child in April of 2019. The official announcement says Markle and Prince Harry appreciate the support received from people across the globe ever since they got married in May 2018 and are delighted to share this news with everyone. Markle is now 37 years old, an age which most American women decide to start a family, as statistics show that the average age of mothers in the US has increased by 23% between 2000 and 2014, as the age of first births was 35 and above.

But Markle’s age places her above the 35 threshold, which is seen as an indicator of female fertility, as most women know that their fertility decreases after 35. Women who get pregnant after this age are said to have a “geriatric” pregnancy,  though that term is discarded by doctors today. For some women, pregnancy after the age of 35 may bring additional risks and difficulties and but every pregnant woman aged 35 or above, may not experience them. Here are some facts:

After 35, it takes longer to conceive a child

Women have a fixed number of eggs contained in their ovaries and with age, they are left with lesser eggs and more possibilities of genetic abnormalities. That is why female fertility rate decreases with age, starting after age 30, speeding up during the mid-30s, as per ACOG or American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The ACOG adds that as women age, they have a higher risk to health conditions negatively impacting fertility, with growths like endometriosis and uterine fibroids, where the uterus lining develops outside the uterus.

Pregnancies over 35 may have complications

The risk for birth complications increase after age 35. After this threshold age, pregnant women are at higher risk for miscarriages, still-births, seriously high blood pressure, or having a child with damaged, extra or missing chromosomes, says the ACOG. Down syndrome is a recurring chromosomal condition observed in babies of those women who got pregnant after 35. A woman aged 35 has a 1:353 chance of her baby being born with Down syndrome while a woman at 40 has a 1: 85 chance of a baby having this condition. But there is no internal switch that flips when a woman celebrates her 35th birthday, ensuring a categorically dangerous pregnancy. So, then 35 is not the magic number for pregnancies and there is no need to see a specially qualified high-risk doctor, unless something in the mother’s medical history or during her pregnancy, warrants it. Having kids after 35 increases the risk of serious, or even tragic complications, but this is not a blanket rule for all women aged 35 and above. Some are in excellent health, whilst others may have pre-existing conditions, further complicating the process of becoming pregnant or even giving birth.

There are many women who have had healthy babies through healthy pregnancies even beyond the age of 35 years. Experts stress the fact that getting timely and consistent pre-natal care increases the chances of a healthy baby and healthy mother after birth. That is, after all, the most important thing during and after a pregnancy.

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