Pune: The average age of first-time mothers, especially working women, has seen a significant rise which is 32-33 years. This has resulted in increased cases of gestational diabetes and infertility among women in recent years, said city doctors.
According to psychologist Niloufer Ebrahim, who heads the wellness centre at the Jehangir Hospital, the average age of first-time mothers has now gone up to 32-33 years.
“I used to conduct classes for expecting mothers called ‘Positively Pregnant’. I started the classes in 1999 when the average age of women in my class was 24-25 years. In 2016, the average age group rose to 33 years,” said Ebrahim. Gynaecologists in the city, too, observed the similar trend. As per their observation, the average age of first-time mothers has gone up by at least three years in the past few years. Many doctors said this rise in age is mainly because of late marriages, after which couples tend to take more time to settle in their jobs and have a child.
Ramesh Bhosale, a gynaecologist working with the Sassoon General Hospital, said, “In the Sassoon Hospital, we get maximum patients from economically weaker sections of society. My personal observation is that the average age of first-time mothers has gone up by three years in the past five years.”
Pregnancy and Gestational Diabetes
Many doctors have cautioned about various complexities that can occur during pregnancies that come with a growing age. One such risk, which is spoken widely by many doctors, is of pregnant women being affected with gestational diabetes. Ebrahim said pregnant women, who may have never had diabetes before, can have high blood sugar levels during pregnancy which is called gestational diabetes.
Ebrahim said even as changing lifestyle remains an important reason for such risks, late pregnancies add to the chances of women being affected by the condition. She added that this diabetes, if poorly controlled, can also affect the baby.
City-based gynaecologist Parag Biniwale said, “Gestational diabetes is becoming common in pregnant women. The cases of gestational diabetes have increased to 15-20 per cent in the city, which is alarming.”
Biniwale attributed the main cause of gestational diabetes to the increased age of pregnant women, stress and the changing lifestyle.
Bhosale, too, said the risk of gestational diabetes can increase with age. “Even as gestational diabetes only remains during the pregnancy period and later subsides, the body develops tendencies for diabetes,” said Bhosale.
Infertility experts from the city said as the age of a woman grows, her chances of developing various issues also increase during conception. Commenting on the issue, Dr Yashwant Mane, founder of Sai Shree IVF, Pune, said as the age increases, other lifestyle disorders such as obesity are also likely to affect the natural conceiving process.
“Around 75 per cent women patients, who come to us, are above the age of 30 years. As the age increases, the overall probability of conceiving decreases. Hence, many women today face this issue,” said Mane.