With the announcement of another pregnancy, fans are a little worried about the risk Halle Berry’s taking.
Already in her mid 40s, the actress joins the world of older-pregnant women. According to CNN, statistics show that the number of pregnancies for women in other age groups is at a historical low, while for women in their late 30s and 40s is on the rise.
However, the risk is still the same. By 40, a woman’s reproductive chance is less than 5% per cycle, so a natural pregnancy is rare. And pregnant women in their 40s face increased risks for several health issues, including gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, breast cancer and miscarriages.
However, Dr. Petra M. Casey, associate professor and gynecology at the Mayo Clinic, cautions that these stats are variously true from patient to patient.
“Underlying health is a huge factor in the outcome of pregnancy,” she said.
“Some women are incredibly healthy at 40; some are sick at 20,” she said. “That all makes a huge difference in the challenges they may face in being pregnant.”
Halle appears to be quite healthy and in shape, but aging eggs is something that even a healthy person can’t deny.
“In terms of risk with women who are a little bit older and the potential genetic problems the baby may have, we pay closer attention to that for sure,” said Dr. George Macones, chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University in St. Louis. “If someone is healthy, though, and doesn’t have medical problems other than the genetic issues, there shouldn’t be a lot to worry about.”
He added that his oldest patient was 54, a woman who was fit, active and healthy. He said she had a great pregnancy and healthy birth.