'Advanced Maternal Age' Wasn't Making Us Feel Sh*tty Enough, So It's 'Geriatric Pregnancy' Now

by Maria Guido
Originally Published: 
Image via Shutterstock

“Advanced Maternal Aged” replaced the term “Geriatric Pregnancy” but it looks like it’s making a comeback

I had my first baby at 38 and my second at 40, so I’m very familiar with the term “advanced maternal age.” It caused some stress in my pregnancy — not gonna lie. Both pregnancies went off without a hitch and my babies are healthy. Didn’t stop the stress of constantly hearing about all the things that could go wrong because I decided to get pregnant later from wearing on me, though.

Well now it seems an old term is making a comeback in case “advanced maternal age” wasn’t properly conveying how old the uterus you just put a baby in is. I mean, there’s fucking cobwebs in there, ladies. And buried treasure. And lore of times past. Basically, your vagina and all the parts attached to it are old as hell. Hence the term, “geriatric.”

Motherfucking “Geriatric Pregnancy.” That’s what they’re calling it now! Minus the “motherfucking,” which in my opinion is a huge oversight on the medical community’s part.

Apparently, that’s what being pregnant after 35 was referred to for years, but doctors moved to “advanced maternal age” because the term “geriatric pregnancy” was making women feel… um, freaking terrible, maybe? But the medical community has eyes, ears, and access to the internet, so they’ve realized that no one gives a shit about the mental well being of women anymore, so let’s stop fronting like we care.

Hence, geriatric is making a comeback.

“Elderly Multigravida.” What would you think if you saw that on your medical file? Probably that you were 1) old and 2) dying of something very serious and irreversible. Nope! It means, “Second or more pregnancy in a woman who will be 35 years of age or older at expected date of delivery.” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I had Elderly Multigravida. I’m coming unhinged. I’m laughing to keep from crying.

Hello Ms. Smith! I see here we are facing a geriatric pregnancy. Oooh, and it’s an elderly multigravida. Before we begin finding the right tools to enter your archaic vag, can you tell me where you found sperm brave enough to enter your withering cavern?

In every other scenario, “geriatric” refers to the treatment of people over 65. So who in the actual hell thought this was a good idea?

An old person.

Ancient. Elder. Senior citizen.

Terminology does matter. Everything matters to you when you are a hormonal, worried, pregnant woman. No way did a woman who’s ever been pregnant come up with this term. No way. And the thing is, more and more women are “advanced maternal age” — and having wonderful pregnancies. The studies that put 35 as the magic number for a pregnancy moving from healthy to “high risk” are old themselves.

Last year over a half a million babies were born to women ages 35-39 and over 111,000 were born to women between the ages of 40-44. Yes, your risks increase in pregnancy with age, but that’s a pretty universal truth: health risks do increase with age. No need to freak out the already freaked-out pregnant woman even more by slapping an archaic label on her as soon as she walks in the door to her first appointment. What’s the point? What purpose does it serve?

“I try not to use the term ‘high risk,’” Prudence Hall, M.D., ob/gyn and founder of the Hall Center in Santa Monica, California told SELF. “You tell a patient ‘you are high risk’ and that’s going to set up the condition. You want to be straight and informative, but I don’t think we need to use terms that can be derogatory.”

Yeah. Like “geriatric.” Let’s stop calling women in their 30’s who are having healthy pregnancies “old” and freaking them the hell out. Please and thank you.

This article was originally published on