What women above 35 must do before getting pregnant – Gynaecologist

Dr Theodore Yakubu, an Abuja based gynaecologist, has advised women
above age 35, with intention of becoming mothers to seek medical
advice before conception.

Yakubu gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria
(NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.

According to him, as a woman gets older, there is an increased risk of
pregnancy related complications and health problems faced by both
mother and child.

Yakubu noted that the complications occurred due to changes in the
reproductive system and increased general health problem associated
with age such as obesity and diabetes.

The expert also said that complications were eminent because the older
body was less supple and flexible which increased the chance of giving
birth to a baby with congenital abnormality such as down-syndrome,
among others.

He explained that an older woman’s uterus was less hospitable to the
changes of pregnancy and thereby could cause premature labor.

“Pregnancy in older women is associated with high risk of general
health problems such as high blood pressure and miscarriage especially
in women above 35 years.

“There is also the risk of having twins which itself is associated
with elevated risk of complications.

“Old age pregnancy is associated with risk of complications during
delivery, such as prolonged labour as well as still birth and placenta
problems,’’ he said.

The gynaecologist however admonished older women planning conception
to be fully informed, maintain a healthy weight as well eat healthy
diet in order to curb complications associated with it.

Yakubu also suggested administering of daily 400mg of folic acid
before and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy in order to prevent
birth defects.

He further noted that careful medical monitoring; appropriate
medication starting from conception and throughout pregnancy would
help reduce the risk associated with old age pregnancy.

He therefore enjoined older women planning conception or pregnancy to
ensure that their health was in an optimal position, saying that it is
key in managing the pregnancy as well as safe delivery.

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