If you’re waiting
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada says men and women waiting
to have a baby need to know that fertility decreases after the age of 32. Reproductive
technologies can’t guarantee you will have a healthy baby or completely make up the loss of
fertility caused by aging. The society also recommends all adults in their reproductive years
understand the risks of delayed child-bearing so they can make informed decisions about
when to have children.
For babies, the risks include a lower
birthweight, preterm delivery,
Down syndrome and stillbirth.
If reproductive technologies are
used, multiple births are an added
Another risk is being unable to
conceive at all.
On the upside
When Chandra treats older pregnant
women, she takes the risks they and
their babies face seriously, but puts
them into perspective.
“Many of the increased risks
and complications can be managed
in pregnancy,” says Chandra, the
director of Maternal Fetal Medicine
at Alberta Health Services’ Royal
Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton
and an associate professor at the
University of Alberta.
“A woman who is fit and healthy
at 40 may have lower risks than a
younger patient who has medical
problems or poor health,” Chandra
says, adding, “But generally when
older women are pregnant, they
and their babies tend to be closely
watched by their doctors.”
— Anne Georg