Rising Hope: Conception and Birth Rate Increases in Women over 40 Years
By: Dr. Pankaj Shrivastav, Medical Director of Conceive Gynecology & Fertility Hospital in Sharjah, UAE
According to recent figures released by Office for National Statistics, UK; the number of pregnancies in the age group of over 40s has more than doubled since 1990 from 12,032 to 28,744.
In the UAE too, a similar trend is being echoed. “Within past few years, we have seen a definite rise in women over the age of 35 + coming to us to try to conceive and start a family,” says Dr. Pankaj Shrivastav, medical director of the Conceive Gynaecology & Fertility Hospital.
“It is now a social and cultural norm to start a family a bit later in life. A few decades ago, having children in your 30s was considered late but today that is deemed early. This is one of the many reasons we are seeing women in their 40s conceiving. Of course, advancement in infertility treatments and medicines has made pregnancies post 40 both easier and infinitely safer!”
“Rising cost of living is also discouraging young couples from starting their family in their 20s and 30s,” Dr. Pankaj Shrivastav further added. “There is also a definite increase in awareness and conscientiousness about adding more people to an overpopulated world environment which dissuades people from having more than one or two children.”
While there are still risks associated with conceiving a bit late, they can be minimized by preparing and getting the necessary tests done. Here are some of the steps recommended for women over 40 who are planning to conceive:
1. Don’t wait to visit your doctor. If you’re over 40 and are trying to get pregnant, pop down to your OBGYN and run a blood work and hormone profile test and an ultrasound scan.
2. Ensure you are up to date with all your screening tests like PAP smear to safeguard your reproductive tract health.
3. Quit smoking and reduce intake of alcohol! Smoking kills eggs and at 40, your ovarian egg reserve is rapidly depleting.
4. Eat a balanced, wholesome diet and exercise with weight training and cardio workouts.
5. Sleep deprivation is another factor that can deter the process. Indulge in calming, Zen activities and be more mindful. A stress-free mind is vital if you’re trying to conceive.
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