Fertile Hope for Women 35+ By Lorne Brown Dr of TCM Acubalance Wellness Centre
There’s been a lot in the news lately about how female fertility declines dramatically after age 35.
Of course age matters and if you’re in your 20’s or early 30’s and wondering if now’s the time to expand your family, don’t wait!
But what if you’re one of the millions of women in your late 30’s or 40’s who discovered love late or only now decided to add to your family? If you’re trying to conceive, hearing the words “advanced maternal age”, “low ovarian reserve,” “high FSH,” and “poor IVF responder” is sure to strike fear into your heart.
Until now Western reproductive medicine said that the sharp decline in the quality and quantity of eggs after the age of 35 is irreversible. However, a recent study from Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto on CoQ-10 and egg quality suggests that, in fact, it may be possible to improve egg quality and slow down or even reverse the aging process.
The study has not been done in women yet but it some hope that there are things that you can do to preserve and improve your fertility.
Chronological Versus Biological Age
Our chronological age is fixed, derived from how many birthdays we have, but our biological age can be accelerated or slowed down depending on lifestyle and environmental factors.
Our current lifestyle in the West, characterized by chronic stress, lack of sleep, a high fat fast- food diet and overconsumption of stimulants, accelerates the aging process
These factors leave us prone to diseases such as cancer and diabetes and hasten the ticking of the reproductive clock:
- Processed food diet
- Elevated stress/cortisol levels
- High inflammation levels
- Lack of exercise
- Poor sleep
- Social isolation and lack of support network
- Environmental toxins
How to Reach Your Fertility Potential
Eat a Whole Food Diet
Whole foods are foods that are in the state that Mother Nature made them (the apple instead of apple juice), minimally processed and refined as little as possible before being eaten.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Reducing your caloric intake and staying at a healthy weight is one of the most potent anti-aging strategies and is key for fertility. Strive for a body mass index (BMI) of between 20 and 25 and a waist circumference (WC) of less than 35” for women and less than 40” for men. Losing just 10 lbs, if you are overweight, can greatly enhance your chances of getting pregnant,
Exercise burns calories and helps regulate your insulin levels, reversing some of the metabolic imbalances that contribute to weight gain and fertility problems.
Chronic stress shuts down all non-essential systems and directly affects the Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Ovary Axis (HPO) that regulates fertility hormones. As well, stress diverts the blood supply away from the ovaries and interferes with your body’s ability to respond to even balanced hormones.
Self-care, meditating and mind-body programs can help reduce distress and promote deep relaxation.
Nurture Your Social Network: Humans are social beings, and studies have shown that having a supportive community of family and friends is the most important determinant of mental and physical health.
Fertility Acupuncture Studies show that acupuncture can improve blood flow to the reproductive organs, balance hormones, optimize implantation and reduce miscarriage rate. Frequency of a final word on the marvels of medical technology: we are fortunate to live in an age where reproductive technology exists. Even with proper diet, exercise and rest, some couples will require the use of donor sperm, donor eggs and IVF. But by living in a way that promotes peak fertility –at any age— you will optimize egg quality, as well as improve the uterine environment for implantation and gestation of a healthy baby.
If you are 35+ and want a child, you can make changes to your lifestyle that slow down the aging process and help you restore your fertility potential.