Pregnant After 40: Age and Your Fertility
Can you get pregnant after 40?
More and more women are having children in their late thirties and early forties.
This is due to a wide variety of personal choices: pursuing an education, establishing one’s career, and waiting for the right partner.
Everyone is familiar with the concept of the ticking biological clock.
What does that mean in terms of one’s fertility? Is it possible to get pregnant after 40?
Age and Your Fertility
Age is the number one factor impacting female fertility, which is defined as the ability to conceive and have a healthy baby. Fertility challenges increase with age. It becomes harder to get pregnant and the risks of miscarriage increase.
It is important to know the factors that will impact one’s fertility success.
At our clinic, we encourage patients to get a fertility workup within the first few months of trying to conceive. Using this information, we support patients in making informed decisions about what to do and when to do it.
A basic fertility work-up includes:
Bloodwork: Egg quantity and quality are evaluated with the following hormones:
- Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH): decreased levels suggest a decrease in the number of eggs
- Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Estradiol (E2): increased levels are associated with a decrease in egg quality
Ultrasound: Looks at the ovaries to determine the number of eggs with an Antral Follicle Count (AFC); evaluates the health of the uterus
Hysterosalpingogram (HSG): Checks to see if the fallopian tubes are open
Semen analysis: Measures the concentration, motility, and volume of sperm
Optimizing Your Fertility After 40
If your tests come back indicating that all is normal – there are eggs, open fallopian tubes, a healthy uterus, and plenty of sperm – the next step is to optimize everything for the best fertility outcomes.
The quality of eggs declines with age, which in turn decreases the odds of conception and increases the risk of miscarriage.
There are several things one can do to improve the quality of one’s eggs.
In our clinic we work primarily with acupuncture and supplements, including:
- CoQ10: 600 mg daily
- Vitamin D: 5000 iu daily
- Inositol: 3 grams daily
- Melatonin: 3 mg at bedtime
- Vitamin C: 1000 mg/day
- Vitamin E: 800 iu/day
- Resveratrol: 1800 mg daily
A healthy uterus has good blood flow to support the endometrial lining, which is where the embryo will implant and grow.
Research has shown that good blood flow to the uterus is associated with better pregnancy outcomes.
Some of the best ways to keep good blood flow to the uterus:
- Keep warm, especially your feet
- Eat warm foods
- Get regular exercise
- Get acupuncture
- See blog here
Sperm benefit from a few supplements as well, including:
- CoQ10: 600 mg daily
- Zinc: 30 -50 mg daily
Overcoming Fertility Challenges After 40
If the fertility tests come back suggesting there may be difficulty getting pregnant after 40, we work with patients to get further testing done, learn their options, and make an informed decision about next steps.
We have a strong network of local fertility experts – therapists, ob/gyn’s, IVF clinics – and can help patients find the care they need.
We support our fertility patients by focusing on both their reproductive and overall maternal health.
While it is essential to have good eggs, a sufficient uterine lining, and balanced hormones, it is also necessary to have a mom-to-be who is healthy and able to provide the best for her baby.
If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and would like to work with our clinic, you can book an appointment online here.
Leslie Oldershaw, L.Ac., FABORM
Fertility Acupuncturist East Bay
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