Planning Pregnancy In Your 30s? Things You Need To Know

The late 20s to early 30s is said to be the ideal age for pregnancy.

Shubhangi Shah
Written by: Shubhangi ShahPublished at: Mar 14, 2022Updated at: Mar 14, 2022
Planning Pregnancy In Your 30s? Things You Need To Know

Delayed marriage and childbirth are among the primary reasons for pregnancy-related complications seen recently. It is generally advised against planning a pregnancy in the late 30s and later. Ages from the late 20s and early 30s are generally recommended for pregnancy. But why is it so? What are the risks a woman faces when planning a pregnancy in her 30s? How should she prepare for the same? For answers to these questions, Onlymyhealth spoke to Dr. Ritu Sethi, Senior Consultant- Gynaecology, Cloud Nine Hospital, Gurugram

Ideal Age For Pregnancy

The best age for pregnancy is from the late 20s to early 30s, said Dr. Sethi. The chances of getting pregnant in one monthly cycle in the early 20s are 25%, which falls to just 3% as the woman turns 40. A female fetus carries about six million eggs. It reduces to a million by the time she is born. When she reaches puberty, she has about 300,000 eggs left in her ovaries. Out of these, just about 300-400 are released throughout her reproductive years.

Risks Of Pregnancy In the 30s

Late pregnancy has several risks

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As a woman reaches 30 years of age, her fertility starts declining. Fertility is the ability to conceive a child. This decline becomes more rapid as she reaches her mid-30s. By the time she turns 45, the chances of conceiving naturally are largely unlikely. If you are in your late 30s or older, here are the pregnancy-related risks you might face:

  • Miscarriage: Loss of pregnancy before the 20th week.
  • Birth-related defects: Structural defects in the baby’s body, which are present since birth. They can affect any part of his/her body, like heart, foot, etc, and can affect how he/she looks, and functions. Birth defects can vary from mild to severe, as per the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.
  • High Blood Pressure: High blood pressure during pregnancy poses several risks. One such risk is the lack of flow of blood to the placenta. Hence, the baby receives a lesser amount of oxygen and nutrients than needed.
  • Gestational Diabetes: Diabetes during pregnancy is called gestational diabetes. It increases the baby’s risk of being born larger than normal that can make delivery difficult, born early, among others.
  • A difficult labour

How To Prepare For Pregnancy In the 30s

Things to consider while planning pregnancy in late 30s

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Planning a child in your 30s brings with it several risks. However, it is possible to have a healthy pregnancy if you prepare properly. Hence, ensure the following if planning a pregnancy in the 30s:

  • Do lifestyle tweaks to make it healthy
  • Have healthy food
  • Exercise to stay fit
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Quit smoking and alcohol
  • Take 400 mcg of folic acid supplements daily as soon as you plan to have a child, says the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. 

Pregnant In the 30s: How To Prevent, Or Minimise, Risks Of Complications?

Late pregnancy can increase your risk of multiple complications. However, you can take steps to cut down your risk of such complications. Here are the things you must do for the same:

  • Maintain a healthy weight before planning pregnancy
  • Inform your doctor about any pre-existing conditions that you have
  • Quit drinking and smoking

So, the late 20s to early 30s is the ideal age for planning a child. Pregnancy beyond that can increase your risk for several complications. However, there are steps you can take for a healthy pregnancy. Communicating your concerns and worries with your doctor can go a long way in ensuring a healthy pregnancy.

(With inputs from Dr. Ritu Sethi, Senior Consultant- Gynaecology, Cloud Nine Hospital, Gurugram)

Photo Credit: Unsplash