How to get pregnant again
The chances of having a baby again are increasing as more people age, but how to regain the strength and vigor needed for the next round of pregnancy is complicated.
A new study published in the Journal of Pregnancy and Childbirth examines the reasons behind the trend and suggests the biggest factor may be the rise in the number of women in their 40s and 50s who are expecting again.
The authors found that women who had already given birth before age 50 were twice as likely to experience an ectopic pregnancy, or a pregnancy that has developed outside the uterus, than women who hadn’t had a baby in their lifetimes.
While they did not see an increase in ectopic pregnancies among those who had had a previous birth, their study suggested this could be a result of increasing maternal age.
Researchers from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, used data from the U.S. National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) to find out how the number and severity of ectopic placental abruption (PLAs) had changed in the past 30 years.
“A significant change in the incidence of PLAs occurred among younger women in the 1980s, which is when many women started having babies at a younger age and began to have less time to spend with children,” said study author and senior author Sarah Stebbins.
While older women were more likely to have an ectopically occurring pregnancy, younger women were still more likely than older women to have PLAs.
“We’re seeing a growing number of younger women having more of an ectopy [placental ablation],” Stebbsins said.
“There are definitely more women who are experiencing ectopic placentas at older ages and there are fewer women who have an older age at which they’re having them.”
Placental placental loss is a common and serious problem for pregnant women.
It occurs when a placenta breaks off during pregnancy and can lead to premature birth and death.
There are no treatments for PLAs, but many women who experience them have a low risk of dying as a result.
The average age of first pregnancy is between 27 and 32 years old, but that can vary greatly.
“Placency and delivery of a newborn has increased dramatically over the past few decades,” said Stebbing, who is a senior research fellow at the University at Buffalo.
“The majority of these women who get pregnant have been in their 30s or 40s for their entire lives, but as the population ages, women who were previously in their 20s are experiencing more pregnancies.”
Stebbing said the increasing prevalence of ectopias could have a direct impact on the health of women who become pregnant again.
“If there’s a higher incidence of ectopy, then you’re more likely at higher risk for preeclampsia, and you’re also more likely, and this is where we see a lot of the morbidity associated with preeclampia,” she said.
Stebbings and her colleagues found that PLAs were more common among women in a higher socioeconomic position, but women with less education and income were more affected by ectopics.
“Women who had no health insurance, who were on Medicaid, or women who worked part-time, for example, were more at risk,” she explained.
“They were also more often seeing physicians who are not doctors of medicine.”
While ectopia has been known to occur among older women, the authors said this was the first study to compare PLAs in younger and older women.
“It’s a huge population and it’s a very heterogeneous population, so it’s very important to have a wide range of data and we need to understand how different groups are different,” Stebberins said.
“The study also found that among older adults, women in poverty were at greater risk for ectopic PLAs than those in higher income brackets.
While more research is needed to understand the relationship between age and ectopic risk, Stebing said the findings suggested women should be cautious about getting pregnant again after having an ectopia.”
That said, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider and talk to the family planning clinic to talk about whether or not you should have a pregnancy test done,” she added.”
I’m really hoping we’ll have a better understanding of the factors that may affect this trend, and how it relates to women’s risk for having ectopic labor.