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Pregnancy After 35 May Pose Birth Complications For Women: Research

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Motherhood brings with it many joys but if a new study is to be believed, then women who conceive at a later age could be prone to birth complications.

According to a new research conducted by King's College London and published in The Journal of Physiology, pregnant women above the age of 35 have maximum chances of birth complications.

Research suggests that the longer labor stages and delay in pregnancy are primary reasons why women over this age bracket face complications.

The study discovered that the maternal age influences the structure of the uterus. On further examination, it was found that the muscles of the uterus contract with the gradual aging process.

Moreover, its response to oxytocin which is recommended for speeding up labor and the number of mitochondria which acts as an energy supplier providing energy for uterus muscle contraction, get affected. The researchers also noticed altered hormonal changes which play a significant role in delaying labor.

What The Researchers Say

For women, the average age to have their first child is supposedly below 35 years old. With the rapid increase in medical discoveries, conceiving after 35 years old and more has become possible. As more and more women are opting to have their first child after 35, they should be aware of the complications that can cause aggravations to their health.

"Our research highlights that there are key physiological and cellular changes associated with a mother's age that result in labor dysfunction. Timing of delivery and progress of labor is directly related to maternal age and this can cause complications during birth," shared Dr. Rachel M. Tribe, the lead author of the study.

Since it is a delicate phase for the pregnant woman, the mother-to-be needs more care and prevention. Several complications can arise such as induction for women who have passed their due date, failure to proceed while in labor, and excessive bleeding after delivery.

The chances of having a normal delivery is quite low. These women have to take up more risk of requiring a caesarean section where the ensuing delivery can offer too many unwanted complications.

Based on a maternal aging pregnant mouse model, the medical research team has drawn the above-mentioned conclusion. By analyzing the functional terminations and physiological changes in the cervix and uterus muscles of the pregnant mice, analysts could decipher that the muscles were impaired and less sensitive to oxytocin, thereby leading to improper contractual functions. With low secretion of progesterone, the delay in labor becomes one of the major concerning issues.

There could be other hindrances to the whole process of conception such as limited number of eggs, chances of multiple pregnancy, developing gestational diabetes, developing high blood pressure, low weight of the baby during delivery, chromosome abnormalities etc. With the increasing percentage in the number of impediments, the cases eventually become highly complicated and threatening.

Photo: Vanessa Porter| Flickr

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