Top 5 Tips for Boosting Fertility After 40
By Dr. Ryan Funk, Dr.TCM, FABORM on Mon, Jun 13 2016
Since 1985 the average age of women trying to conceive their first child continually increases. In fact one study found that the women having their first child at the age of 45 has increased over 14% in 2015. In our office the average age of women we work with would be in their late 30's to mid 40's. What they all have in common is they are looking for ways to help improve their chances of conceiving and having a healthy child.
The stats are well known that fertility declines with age so learning what you can do to help slow down this decline can be a big part of achieving a pregnancy. I wanted to pass along a few things which can help boost the chances of a healthy pregnancy with women who are trying later in life. Not in any particular order:
We have added another tool to assist women in reaching their preak fertility potential since I wrote this blog in June 2016. We also offer low level laser therapy (LLLT), both laser and light-emitting diode (LED) sources, to boost the pregnancy rates of even women who have been unsuccessful with other assisted reproduction treatments like vitro fertilization (IVF). More details are found on our Laser for Fertility page
#1 - Get Adequate Rest, Stop Burning The Candle At Both Ends
Many of my patients have delayed having a family as they have focussed on achieving a successful career. Long hours at work and burning the candle at both ends to meet financial goals or grow in a career they love. Unfortunately at this point they are to some degree burning out and experiencing some adrenal fatigue. To learn more about adrenal fatigue here is a link to a video from Dan Kalish on how to work with Adrenal Fatigue and what you can do to improve it.
Adrenal Fatigue will effect your fertility by altering your fertile hormones in a negative way. Once these hormones are put back in balance your ability to achieve a healthy pregnancy is restored. You need to slow down, get more rest and find time to relax to help this restorative process along.
#2 - Use Your Kitchen as Medicine
The food you are putting in your mouth on a daily basis has a huge impact on your health. Women who have a diet high in sugar, caffeine, processed foods and nutrient poor foods may have a difficult time achieving a healthy pregnancy. These calorie high/nutrient low foods don't support the bodies own mechanisms to create a healthy environment. Switching these to a high vegetable, low processed food diet can make the body function at a higher state. So many of our patients notice a huge improvement in their health within a matter of weeks by following some simple dietary changes. Weight loss, regulating periods, better skin and improved digestion all can improve quickly by using your kitchen to help better your fertility.
#3 - Acupuncture
Acupuncture has been shown to help couples conceive by improving both male and female fertility. Acupuncture can boost sperm function along with female hormones and blood flow. A hormone tested to look at a womans fertility is Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). Generally speaking, high FSH is a bad indicator for your fertility. Anything which can lower a high FSH can improve your fertility outlook. Woman who are trying to conceive later in life very often have high FSH. The good news is FSH can be lowered to more optimal levels with the use of Acupuncture. And we offer Laser Acupuncture to our approach at Acubalance.
Acupuncture can also be used to improve blood flow which not only improves blood flow to the uterus but also to the ovaries.
If you are looking for some support to help you conceive acupuncture as well as Chinese herbal medicine is a great option. It helps the body in several ways to optimize and improve the chances of a healthy pregnancy.
#4 - Improve Egg Quality with Supplements
A side effect of aging is a generalized decrease in egg quality but there are ways to slow this process down. Studies have found that oxidation plays a negative role in egg quality and oral supplementation can strengthen the oxidative defense system by decreasing oxidative stress.
What this means is that you can influence your egg quality by taking supplements like Coq10. You will get the best results after taking these for several months in a row. Follicular development takes more than 3 months before an egg comes to full maturation and is ready for ovulation. Taking antioxidants for this entire time will have the greatest influence.
#5 - Don't Wait Too Long Before Having A Fertility Work Up!
We can break down infertility to 4 main areas: Egg, Sperm, Tubal Blockage and Failed Implantation. If there is a problem in any of these areas you will not be able to achieve a pregnancy. If you have been trying to conceive for over 6 months it's a good idea to have a full fertility work up with a specialist. Many patients shy away from the work up as they don't want to do IVF or other medical interventions. If there is a problem in 1 (or more) of these areas it helps greatly to know! I often am treating the woman but find out after these tests they have male factor infertility and should be treating him rather than her!
The basic fertility work up is generally made up of: Day 3 blood work, Progesterone test, Hystersalpingogram (HSG - tests fallopian tubes for blockage) and a Semen Analysis. These tests can help us focus our treatment plan for better results even if couples are not open to IVF and other medical procedures.
If you and your partner are trying to conceive you do have the power to increase your chances of getting pregnant. From diet changes to Acupuncture you can influence your fertility at any age. To learn more about the Acubalance approach in the treatment of reproductive health click here for a free 15 minute phone consultation.
Dr. Ryan Funk
Doctor of Chinese Medicine