Medical Q&As

Pregnancy - aged 45?

I am 45 years old and have a one-year-old child. I had an uneventful pregnancy and my baby was delivered by elective caesarean section. I recovered well and got pregnant again only to have a miscarriage at 9 weeks. My general state of health is good and I really would love to have another child. Can you comment on my situation please?

Research has shown that mothers over the age of 35 tend to have a higher rate of complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Studies have also shown that a mother over the age of 35 is more likely to have a low birth weight baby. You also need to consider the increased risk of having a baby with Down’s syndrome. The incidence of Down’s syndrome is approximately 1 in 1,000 births. In the case of a mother aged 25 the odds of having a child with Down’s syndrome is approximately 1 in 1400. At age 35 the risk increases to 1 in 350 and at age 40 the risk rises further again to 1 in 100. However, the reverse side of that coin is that the chance of not having a child with Down’s syndrome is 99 in 100. Deciding to have another child is a very personal matter and I would not discourage you from doing so simply on the basis of your age. However your decision needs to be informed, which means having an appreciation of the attendant risks.