Pregnancy at age 47 increases the risk of miscarriage, gestational diabetes, bleeding, chromosomal abnormalities and sudden death of an infant, reports WebMD. Congenital defects of the brain and spinal cord may also occur in an unborn child. The risk of premature delivery or still birth rises in pregnant older women, according to Pregnancy & Baby.
A 2000 study in the Obstetrics and Gynecology journal showed a fetus has a high risk of sudden death in a woman over 40 as compared to a younger counterpart, reports WebMD. Advanced age may increase the risk of genetic conditions, such as Down’s syndrome. Experts say this occurs when a woman aged 45 and over becomes pregnant with her own eggs, according to Pregnancy & Baby. Even when a woman uses donor eggs, she is at risk of developing preeclampsia, which involves high blood pressure and fluid retention. Such a woman may also have a higher need for a cesarean section, reports CNN.
The risk of miscarriage tends to rise with advancing age, reports Mayo Clinic. While women aged 35 to 39 have a 25 percent chance of miscarriage, those aged 40 and over have a 51 percent risk. A fetus may also experience growth retardation and have heart defects, according to WebMD.