With the turn of the century, more women join the work force, resulting in postponement of marriage.  Many delay starting their family to focus on consolidating their career.   This inevitably results in more women conceiving after age of 35 years.

The medical fraternity has classified pregnant women after 35 years old as “elderly or matured mothers”.  This group is associated with higher complications and risks associated with the pregnancy.

Elderly mothers are prone to a higher miscarriage rate, chromosomal abnormalities, fetal structural anomalies, premature birth and smaller babies (IUGR).  There is also a higher perinatal mortality.

Women who are pregnant at this age are more likely to develop hypertension, diabetes, anemia and low placenta implantation. Their labor process tend to be associated with instrumental or operative deliveries.

The consolation of elderly mother in pregnancy is that they are more prepared emotionally and financially. They tend to look forward to the pregnancy and delivery.

The above outlines the potential risks and complications associated with elderly mother in pregnancy.  One needs to be assessed by an obstetrician to ensure the optimal pregnancy outcome, given the risks associated with elderly pregnant mother.


Author: Dr Ng Soon Pheng

Dr. Ng Soon Pheng MD(USM), M.Med (O&G), Fellow Reprod Medicine (Singapore), AM (Mal) Dr. Ng Soon Pheng qualified from University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Malaysia. After obtaining his post graduate degree, Dr. Ng Soon Pheng continued his clinical fellowship training in the field of IVF in Singapore. He was also the recipient of Yayasan Sultan Iskandar (Johor) Scholarship for the fellowship stint. Dr. Ng Soon Pheng has more than 10 years of working experience in the field of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the public and university hospital, with special interests in infertility. He was an Associate Professor with the Department of O&G in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) specialising in infertility. Dr. Ng Soon Pheng is currently Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with special interests in infertility at Columbia Asia Hospital - Puchong.