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Halle Berry's Pregnancy: Age and Health Concerns

a blog by Claire, April 13, 2013

Since Halle Berry announced her pregnancy earlier this week, there has been plenty of speculation about whether or not she used fertility treatment to conceive. Some physicians have even voiced their medical opinion regarding potential pregnancy complications due to her age and medical history.

As a woman ages, her ovarian reserve declines making her less inclined to conceive using her own eggs, and at greater risk of miscarriage due to chromosomally abnormal embryos. Many fertility doctors recommend that a woman over the age of 42 turn to egg donation, so it is quite possible that Berry (47) is keeping her use of an egg donor under wraps. Additionally, women over the age of 40 (without an infertility diagnosis) have just 5% chance of conceiving each month. While it isn't impossible for Berry to have conceived naturally, the odds seem to be stacked against her.

A woman of advanced maternal age is also at greater risk of developing fibroids or other uterine anomalies that could jeopardize embryo implantation and healthy pregnancy development. Women over the age of 35 are also at an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, experiencing pre-term labor, and having a child with Down Syndrome. Berry has a history of Type 2 Diabetes which could impact fetal brain, heart, kidney, and lung development. She is at greater risk of giving birth to a larger baby and the child is predisposed to developing diabetes later in life. Berry will have to closely monitor her blood sugar levels and seek the medical care of a Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) or high risk pregnancy doctor to monitor the baby’s growth.

Fortunately, advances in medical testing and care are likely to keep Berry and her child safe and healthy. This is the actress’ first pregnancy with fiancé, Oliver Martinez, and she has one daughter with ex-boyfriend, Gabriel Aubry.

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