Medical Consequences for Older Mothers Video

Western women are waiting longer before choosing to have children. A significant number of first time mothers are in their late 30s and 40s. So, what are the medical consequences of this delay?
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Dr. Judith Hibbard: The older a woman becomes the greater chance that she has that her baby will have down syndrome or some other aneuploidy, some other chromosome abnormality. So for example, a woman who is 40 years old having her first baby is at greater risk than a woman who say 25 years old. Lucia Rice: I am 41 years old. It is my second pregnancy. I miscarried early, early on about four months back. Well, my concern is to find out if there's any genetic defects? Dr. Eugene Pergament: In the United States if you walk through the door and you are 35, at the time you are going to deliver, we have a standard, where we offer you invasive testing like amniocentesis. For women who are 35 and older, well at that procedure carries a small risk, but medical community believes the benefits of such testing away the risks. Dr. Lauren Streicher: I always tell women particularly who are 40 or over, a positive pregnancy test is not a baby. You could be very cautious when someone comes in and they're very excited because they have been trying to get pregnant and they are 40 years old and they call us and say -- you know, the wonderful news that the home pregnancy test is positive. And we need to caution them that before we can say, yes this is a good pregnancy, we need to establish viability and the older the mother is, the more concerned we are. Dr. Eugene Pergament: In the early 90s maybe only 5% were 35 and older, that number is easily doubled and it is expected in a few years, even doubled then. Lucia Rice: Well, I didn't marry until a year ago and for myself and I have seen family and friends and many people around me, some being single parents and I know how difficult it is and it just was not something I wanted for myself. I mean I wanted a family but I wanted a partner first.

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