Women more likely to suffer fertility problems after 35

London: Women trying to have a baby after 35 years are six times more likely to face complications than at 25 years, says a new study.

A major study from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, warning of serious complications for both mother and baby, said that by the age of 40, a woman is more likely to have a miscarriage than give birth, the Daily Mail reports.

Expectant mothers in their late 30s and 40s are far more likely to suffer complications such as pre-eclampsia, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or stillbirth and they are also more likely to need a caesarean.

Babies born to them are more likely to be premature, smaller or suffer from Down`s syndrome and other genetic disorders.

Men`s fertility also declines rapidly from the age of 25 and doctors estimate that the average 40-year-old takes two years to get his partner pregnant - even if she is in her 20s.

The report is a clear and authoritative wake-up call on the dangers of late parenthood. However, increasing numbers of couples are doing just that without properly understanding the consequences - and the risks.

Separate figures show that the number of mothers giving birth after their 40th birthday has trebled in the last 20 years.

Almost 27,000 babies were born to mothers over 40 last year compared to 9,336 in 1989. Doctors insist women should be given clear reminders that "the most secure age for childbearing remains 20 to 35".

Up to 30 percent of 35-year-olds take longer than a year to get pregnant, compared to only five percent of 25-year-olds, according to the Royal College report.

The research, which looked at several major studies on fertility, also shows that the average childbearing age has risen from 23 in 1968 to 29.3 today.