There is lots of negative press along with much negative public perception around women in their 40’s getting pregnant and having babies. So I would like to balance it a little with some positive words and tips-
“It’s not hard to understand the fears surrounding conception. Yes, the statistics show that a woman’s fertility declines as she ages, but you must keep in mind that these numbers may have nothing to do with you. In fact, over the last 20 years, births to women over age 40 have increased by 50% … and in 1991, 92,000 women in the U.S. over age 40 had babies. That number continues to rise. A lot of forty-something women don’t realise how fertile they are, which may account for the fact that they are second only to women ages 18-25 in frequency of abortions. Who says your eggs are too old? Furthermore, you should know that the vast majority of babies born to women in their forties are healthy. And in healthy women, the vast majority of pregnancies are completed without a hitch.”
Christiane Northrup, M.D., Health Wisdom for Women (July 1997)
A known fact is that the fertility of a woman is at its prime between the ages 18-28. This age range can of course extend up to the mid-thirties. However, nowadays marriages are taking place at a later age, which is further postponing the prospects of pregnancy. This means, you could well be into your 40’s by the time you decide to have a child. Medical research says that conceiving at a later age is slightly difficult, because it may cause a high-risk pregnancy, or several birth defects. While this may be partly true, there are always exceptions to every case. Moreover, now with the availability of several herbs and other techniques to increase fertility after 40, the chances of natural conception and a healthy pregnancy and childbirth are definitely possible. Here are some simple remedies that will help.
So what can you do to increase your chances to get pregnant over 40?
1) Reduce Your Stress-
Stress has the capacity to affect every natural facility of your body, including the ability to conceive. Apart from several other reasons, stress may be one of the prime causes of infertility in women over 40. It has to be managed if you wish for a healthy pregnancy. To manage it, firstly, learn how to strike a balance in your life by managing your home and work effectively. Then, adopt techniques like yoga and meditation. Certain yoga poses can help you increase chances of conceiving. An important contributor to stress is your emotional state of mind. You may be overwhelmed by the desire to have a child and at the same time, worried about the possibility of having one. However, these emotional issues must be balanced as they can affect your chances of getting pregnant. See a counsellor or a coach if needed.
2) Eat Right-
A variety of important foods and nutrients that can effectively help you increase fertility. See me fertility diet eBook for more information (it is free on the website)Vitamin E is a very important nutrient when it comes to increasing fertility, and also in preventing the birth defects you may be worried about. Foods that will help you get good amounts of this vitamin include nuts, seeds, and cold-pressed oils.Other antioxidants such as Vitamin C are also very important over 40. Eating green, leafy vegetables gives you the right amount of calcium, magnesium and folic acid required to increase fertility and deliver a healthy baby. More folic acid is needed than before you are 40, at least 1mg/day. Including foods rich in zinc in your diet can help your reproductive organs function better, thereby increasing chances of conception.
3) Give up Alcohol and Tobacco and other toxins-
This is applicable to you, and your partner. You are both carrying 50% of your future baby. Nothing ages your eggs faster than tobacco. Alcohol also impedes ovulation. You need to decrease all toxins overall but these 2 need to be removed first. Then move on to environmental toxins, cleaning products and personal care products. Once you are pregnant you wont want to be exposing yourself to any toxins and the 3 months prior to conception is even more important.
4) Balance Your Weight-
Being either overweight and underweight can be a cause for concern when it comes to increasing fertility especially over the age of 40, because it affects the production of hormones in the body. Following a balanced diet, and a good exercise regimen can help you both, put on and put off those kilos and give you a healthy body, ready for conception. Whether you ovulate or not may come down to your body fat percentage.
5) Herbal Remedies-
Herbal remedies must not be taken with fertility drugs or fertility treatment.
Apart from following the above mentioned techniques and habits, there are some herbs that will help you increase fertility after 40. However, before you consume them, consult a qualified herbalist or health care practitioner. Herbs can interact with other drugs you may be taking for various health conditions, and cause some severe side effects. Besides, every body is different and herbs can affect different bodies differently.
False Unicorn Root: This herb has the ability to activate the ovaries and thus, promote ovulation. It also helps maintain a balance in hormone production.
Raspberry Leaf: Raspberry leaf is the most popular herb to increase fertility. It is popular as a uterine tonic, and is a rich source of calcium. Combine it with red clover and consume for best results.
Stinging Nettle: Nettle benefits not only include the purpose of increasing fertility, they also help in improving the function of the adrenal system as well as the kidneys. It is rich in chlorophyll and other important minerals, that are essential for healthy functioning of the hormonal system.
Dong Quai: Dong quai benefits all those of you who wish to increase fertility. This herb should be taken only on the days between ovulation and menstruation, and avoided otherwise. Again, this herb should be consumed only in combination with other herbs, and not on its own.
Damiana: The damiana herb functions as a natural aphrodisiac, and is known to increase sex drive by calming the nervous system and creating a balance in the hormonal production. Men should preferably consume this herb to be able to increase fertility. Siberian Ginseng also has similar effects.
There is no age limit on the desire to be a parent. Even if you have realized late in life that you do wish to be a parent, nothing should stop you unless you decide that it is no longer your priority in life.
Trying to get pregnant over 40 can be far more challenging than in earlier years but it is not impossible. The shelf in my office is full of thank you cards from women and couples over 40 who have successfully had a baby. Make sure you have received your copy of my free fertility diet eBook by signing up at www.TheBabyMakingClub.com
And keep an eye out for my new ‘6 week eCourse-How to Get Pregnant’.
Sarah Leather N.D., IS.Hom, Post Grad Natural Fertility Management.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not, in any way, intend to replace the advice of a medical expert.