Fertility At 40
More and more women are putting off childbearing into their later years. In the United States, about 20% of women have their first child after the age of 35. Reasons include continuing education, career goals, waiting for marriage, as well as an array of other reasons.
However, trying to achieve pregnancy later in life may not prove as easy as you may think. Pregnancy later in life can be difficult to achieve due to several factors such as increased risk of non ovulation (anovulatory) cycles, irregular menstrual cycles, and decreased egg quality. If you want to be successful at getting pregnant, there are a few things you should know about conceiving when you are 40 or above.
Can you really get pregnant naturally at 40?
As I was researching information for this website, I ran into a website by Lisa Olson. I was amazed by her story of conceiving 2 healthy children at the age of 43. She created her website after years of fertility issues to help women become pregnant the natural way. You can visit her website here, Pregnancy Miracle.
What is the leading factor that makes the most difference?
If you are healthier, it greatly reduces many of the risk factors and conception issues that can occur when conceiving at a later age. When you are healthier, it puts you at an advantage because you have healthier, regular cycles, increased chances of ovulation, and stronger egg quality, as in comparison with someone of the same age who does not lead a healthy lifestyle.
It is going to be more important than ever that you are committed to leading a healthy lifestyle in order to get pregnant.
What is healthy?
Being at a healthy body weight does not equal healthy. It will be important that you are eating the right foods and treating your body well to become pregnant. If you have been eating unhealthy foods on a regular basis, it will be beneficial to do a full body detox before attempting to get pregnant. This will remove toxins and cleanse your body inside and out.
The best way to become healthy is to eliminate processed foods from your diet that contain ingredients that decrease fertility and start introducing whole, organic foods into your diet. The best diet consists of organic proteins, fruits, and vegetables.
There are a few foods that should be avoided and eliminated all together to have a greater chance of conceiving.
Here are a few food items you should eliminate:
Caffeine – This is a big one. If you are used to your daily latte, it can be difficult to eliminate it from your diet, but moderate to heavy caffeine consumption can decrease your chances of conceiving by up to fifty percent.
Alcohol and Smoking – The dangers of alcohol and smoking have been communicated for a long time and women are to eliminate both during pregnancy, but quitting before pregnancy helps in getting pregnant. Alcohol can increase prolaction levels, which inhibit ovulation and lead to infertility while smoking is linked to reduced levels of estrogen and poor cervical fluid.
Aspartame – Aspartame is found in many sweeteners including NutraSweet and Equal. It is also found in many “diet” and “sugar-free” foods. It becomes highly toxic when it enters your body. Aspartame can have a negative effect on EVERY stage of reproduction. It can also cause a miscarriage by triggering an immune response that can destroy the fetus.
Health Concerns and Risks
There are some concerns that come with getting pregnant over the age of 35. Some common concerns are genetic issues with the child such as Down’s syndrome, high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, and increased chance of miscarriage and stillbirth.
This is because your eggs decrease in quality as you age.
Despite being at risk for a series of problems, there are things that you can do to increase the chances of having a happy and healthy pregnancy.
Are you living a healthy lifestyle? Living a healthy and active lifestyle is the best way to reduce the risk. You should eliminate and avoid caffeinated beverages in your diet, as well as any alcoholic beverages. Eating a well balanced diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, leafy greens, and complex carbohydrates helps because it provides the nutrients and minerals needed for a developing baby.
Taking folic acid and/or eating folic acid rich foods such as beans and leafy greens during the preconception period as well as in pregnancy is also good for protecting your baby from birth defects as well as miscarriage.
Health is the greatest determining factor in having a healthy pregnancy. Making sure you are consuming a whole foods, organic diet before conception is key. Eliminating processed foods from your diet can greatly increase your chances of having a healthy pregnancy.
Knowing & Understanding Your Cycle
If you are trying to get pregnant, it is going to be vitally important that you are able to chart your cycle and determine ovulation accurately. There are several tools available to help you in doing this. One of the most popular is Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs).
Ovulation Predictor Kits can detect ovulation before it occurs. This is done by a urine sample, testing the hormone LH in your urine. You should follow all instructions on your particular kit before testing, each kit is different.
You can also use this in conjunction with other methods to track ovulation such as charting your menstrual cycle, examining your cervical mucus, and tracking your Basal Body Temperature (BBT). It is best to use at least two methods to make sure you are determining your ovulation days accurately.
Maintaining a healthy weight and BMI along with eating healthy and exercising also aids in conceiving easier. A healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) is between 18.5 and 24.9, if you fall outside of this range you are either overweight or underweight. Women who are at a healthier BMI increase their chances of becoming pregnant.
Vitamins that Help
Taking a prenatal vitamin/woman’s multivitamin also helps increase the chances for conception.
Moving your Body
This goes for all women but especially those over the age of 35 should be sure to remain as active as possible to increase chances of conceiving. Remaining active will help keep the metabolism at a good rate to keep extra body weight from accumulating, as the metabolic rate slows down as one gets older.
Remaining active also helps keep you from developing diabetes which can impede becoming pregnant.
Are you getting enough of this?
Another suggestion is to get proper rest. Proper rest is key for keeping hormone levels normalized as well as help maintain normal ovulatory cycles, which can change significantly as you get older.
To find out additional things you can do to get pregnant at a later age, visit Lisa Olson’s website, Pregnancy Miracle.