In purely statistical terms, the risk of a miscarriage or of an alteration in the chromosome number (e.g. trisomy 21) increases in tandem with the age of the pregnant woman (slightly increased risk above 30, significantly increased risk above 40). However, the majority of older women give birth to perfectly healthy children.
The following factors could indicate a high-risk pregnancy:
- The mother is older than 35 and/or the father is older than 45
- Hereditary diseases in the mother's and/or father’s family
- Positive results in the general preparatory examinations
- Two or more previous miscarriages
- The mother suffers from rubella infection or toxoplasmosis during pregnancy
- Taking certain medication during pregnancy
- X-ray exposure during pregnancy
In order to reduce or preclude further risks, you should avoid the following:
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Smoking – both active and passive smoking
- Raw dairy products and raw meat
- Extreme physical exertion
- High temperatures, e.g. in the sauna or bath
In individual cases, special examination methods can be employed to determine whether your unborn child has any genetic diseases. However, it is essential that parents carefully consider the benefits and risks of such procedures.