Advanced Maternal Age is defined as pregnancy after the age of 35.
For the purposes of this discussion, we will call advanced maternal age over 40! Many, many women today are delaying the start of childbearing until their late 30’s or 40’s. For some, this may be a second chance at having a family, but for others, this is their first time attempting to get pregnant and deliver a healthy baby. Either way, acupuncture and herbal medicine is a low cost and highly effective tool for many as they navigate the waters of advanced maternal age fertility.
One of the challenges of conceiving after 40 is poor egg quality.
Through the process of oogenesis, dormant egg cells awaken, start to divide and may ultimately become an ovulated egg. This process takes about 3 months, and that is the reason that during the start of care for fertility, every practitioner asks for at least 3 months to make changes to the patients’ physiology that may help result in an more healthy ovulated egg.
What are some things you can start today to Improve Advanced Maternal Age Fertility?
- Start a high quality pre-natal vitamin (I recommend a vitamin made from food instead of synthetics, for obvious reasons). The body knows exactly what to do with food.
- Monitor blood sugar levels. Even if you are not diabetic, long stretches of time without food or water can cause blood sugar levels to plummet. Erratic blood sugar levels are interpreted by the body as stress. In response to this stress, the body releases cortisol, the hormone of stress. Cortisol has far reaching negative effects on the body as a whole, but particularly on fertility. So, eat meals at regular intervals and stay hydrated!
- Eat properly for you unique body type, and take the proper supplementation, if needed. This requires an evaluation by a qualified health practitioner such as an Acupuncturist or Natropath. Or you can try the kitchen sink method of supplementation (take everything under the sun and hope you’re getting what you need—I don’t recommend this, of course).
- Get regular acupuncture. Acupuncture has been proven to improve blood flow to the reproductive organs, remove road blocks in the reproductive system (phlegm/inflammation), reduce stress (the ultimate fertility killer), and balance hormones… all necessary for getting pregnant and carrying a healthy baby to term.
- Get adequate sleep. The Chinese body clock helps to explain with getting to bed by 11pm is so important. It is around that time that the body starts it’s nightly repair and restore functions. The body gets busy cleaning the blood and repairing cellular damage that happens during our normal days. This is even more important if you’re recovering from illness or surgery OR trying to get pregnant.