HealthSheets™


Pregnancy After Age 35

It’s a myth that being 35 or older means your pregnancy will be high risk. However, women with pre-existing health problems may be at risk for complications during pregnancy. Making the right choices now and working with your healthcare provider can help make your pregnancy healthy for both you and your baby.

Things to think about

Most women who are 35 or older have normal pregnancies, but there are some things to think about before getting pregnant. Once a woman reaches 35, she has a greater chance for:

  • Problems getting pregnant

  • Miscarriage

  • Ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy located outside the uterus) 

  • Stillbirth

  • Diabetes or high blood pressure while pregnant

  • Being tired all the time when pregnant

  • Cesarean section (surgery to deliver a baby)

  • Having babies with genetic problems, like Down syndrome

  • Being pregnant with two or more babies

  • Premature baby

  • Death

Making the right choices

Before and after you become pregnant:

  • Don’t use recreational drugs.

  • Don’t drink alcohol.

  • Don’t smoke.

Keeping you and your baby healthy

Before and during your pregnancy:

  • Take 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid.

  • Stay physically active.

  • Keep a healthy weight.

  • Avoid contact with harmful substances in your home or workplace.

You may need extra care if you have any of the following:

  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

  • Diabetes

  • High blood pressure

  • Other chronic health problems

Special healthcare

Fertility counseling. As women age, getting pregnant can get more difficult. Ask your healthcare provider how long you should try to get pregnant before seeking help from a specialist.

Genetic counseling. Genetic counseling evaluates the risk for birth defects in your baby. You will be asked detailed questions about your family health history. You may also have medical tests.

Amniocentesis. This test studies amniotic fluid (liquid that surrounds the fetus in the womb). It can help diagnose birth defects and other medical problems.

© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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