Navigating Pregnancy Risks by Age Chart

Although being pregnant is a unique and precious moment in a woman's life, there can also be risks and complications, particularly as a woman's age increases. Pregnancy risks (1) differ depending on a woman's growing belly.

Pregnancy risks can increase as a woman gets older. Here is a general overview of some of the risks associated with pregnancy by age.

Navigating Pregnancy Risks by Age Chart

Pregnancy Risks by Age Chart

For women under 35

  • Miscarriage: 10-20% chance
  • Ectopic pregnancy: 1-2% chance
  • Gestational diabetes: 2-10% chance
  • Pre-eclampsia: 5-10% chance
  • High blood pressure: 5-10% chance
  • Preterm labor: 8-10% chance

For women 35-39

  • Miscarriage: 20-35% chance
  • Ectopic pregnancy: 2-5% chance
  • Gestational diabetes: 8-18% chance
  • Pre-eclampsia: 15% chance
  • High blood pressure: 15% chance
  • Preterm labor: 14-25% chance

For women 40 and over

  • Miscarriage: 30-50% chance
  • Ectopic pregnancy: 5-10% chance
  • Gestational diabetes: 18-20% chance
  • Pre-eclampsia: 25% chance
  • High blood pressure: 25% chance
  • Preterm labor: 28-50% chance

It is important to note that these risks are general calculations and that each pregnancy is unique. It is consulted that women speak with their healthcare provider to discuss their individual risks based on their medical history and other factors.

Read: how to sleep with pelvic pain during pregnancy

Understanding High-risk pregnancy age

There is no specific age at which a pregnancy is considered high-risk, as the risk fact can vary depending on the individual woman's medical history and other medications. However, advanced maternal age is a common risk factor for pregnancy complications.

Generally, a woman is considered to have an "advanced maternal age" pregnancy if she is 35 years of age or older at the time of delivery. Women in this age group may be at higher risk for various pregnancy complications, including gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, preterm labor, and cesarean delivery. Advanced maternal age is also linked with a higher risk of chromosomal abnormalities in the baby, such as Down syndrome.

Not all women over 35 will experience pregnancy complications, and many women have healthy pregnancies and deliveries at this age and beyond. The risk factors and advice for managing a high-risk pregnancy will vary depending on the individual woman's medical history. So, women that are pregnant or planning to become pregnant to discuss their risks and concerns with their family doctor.

Read: How to surprise husband with pregnancy

High-risk pregnancy complications

Some common high-risk pregnancy complications include,

1. Gestational diabetes:

This is a type of diabetes (2) that develops during pregnancy and can lead to high blood sugar levels in the mother and the baby. Women who are overweight, have a family history of diabetes, or have had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy are at higher risk.

2. Preeclampsia:

This is a serious condition that can develop during pregnancy and is identified by high blood pressure and damage to organs such as the liver and kidneys. Women who are over 35, have a history of high blood pressure, or are carrying multiples are at higher risk.

3. Preterm labor:

This is when labor starts before 37 weeks of pregnancy and can lead to complications for the baby such as respiratory distress syndrome, jaundice, and infection. Women who have had a previous preterm birth, have a history of cervical incompetence, or are carrying multiples are at higher risk.

4. Placenta previa:

This is a condition where the placenta covers all or part of the cervix, which can lead to bleeding and other complications during pregnancy and delivery. Women who have had a previous cesarean delivery or have had placenta previa in a previous pregnancy are at higher risk.

5. Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR):

When a baby doesn't develop as quickly as it should, it can cause a variety of issues, including low birth weight, early delivery, and developmental disabilities. Women who suffer from illnesses like arthritis, high blood pressure, or preeclampsia are particularly susceptible.

Final Note

Without question, many high-risk pregnancies can result in healthy outcomes for the mother and the unborn child with the proper monitoring and management, and not all high-risk pregnancies will have problems. High-risk female patients should coordinate their care with their gynecologist to lower their risk of problems.

 Read: How to sleep with pregnancy pillow

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