OB-GYN answers questions about advanced maternal age, fertility and pregnancy

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The average maternal age in Canada has increased, with 25% of all mothers at childbirth being aged 35 and older in 2021, a significant rise from 16% in 2001 according to data from Statistics Canada. Pregnant women over 35 face higher risks for maternal and fetal complications. Aging affects women’s fertility with gradual decline from their 30s, leading to decreased chances of spontaneous conception, as well as increased pre-term birth, gestational diabetes, and pre-eclampsia. Adapting a healthier lifestyle before pregnancy and seeking the right care from specialized high-risk pregnancy clinics such as the one at St. Michael’s Hospital, which offers virtual care and interdisciplinary support, can mitigate some of these risks.

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