Keto For Fertility Over 40
The ketogenic diet is a very safe way to swap your body from burning sugar to burning fat for fuel.
It is an effective weight loss tool, but it is also really effective at helping women balance their hormones.
When done right, with whole, natural foods, keto can boost your fertility, as well as give you all the nutrition you need to grow a happy healthy baby. As a keto coach, I knew of several women who were told they had gone through menopause only to start cycling again, some even got pregnant with this high fertility way of eating.
For more information about the keto diet and fertility read here.
How Many Eggs Does A Woman Have At 40
When girls are born, their ovaries contain all the eggs they will ever have about a million in total! This number declines as they age. Women lose about 30 immature eggs a DAY! This means that by the time a woman reaches puberty her ovaries contain 300,000 eggs by age 30 shes down to 100,000. Estimates say that by age 40 women only have about 20,000 eggs remaining.
Ovarian reserve can be tested by a physician with a blood test called the Anti-Mullerian Hormone. AMH is a hormone produced by the follicles in a womans ovaries where egg cells develop, and it declines through a womans reproductive lifespan. The lower a womans AMH number, the fewer eggs remain in her ovarian reserve.
However, its important to remember that a womans AMH test results are just one piece of data that her doctor will look at when discussing her fertility health. They dont tell anything about the quality of the remaining eggs.
When Youre Told Youre Too Fat To Get Pregnant
Does it make sense, medically or ethically, when fertility clinics refuse to treat prospective mothers they consider too large?
Gina Balzano and her son in Waltham, Mass.Credit…Elinor Carucci for The New York Times
The first time a doctor told Gina Balzano that she was too fat to have a baby was in 2013. She was 32, weighed 317 pounds and had been trying to get pregnant since soon after she and her husband, Nick, married in 2010. Balzano whom I have known since high school lives in Waltham, Mass., and works in special education. Shes the kind of person whom others often go to with their problems, but her own predicament, after three years of negative pregnancy tests, had left her feeling overwhelmed. Ive always had horrible, heavy, painful periods, so I thought something was wrong, she says. But I didnt know enough to know what to worry about. She told herself it was time to find out.
During their first appointment at a large Boston fertility clinic, Balzano says, the reproductive endocrinologist was cold and unsmiling as she reviewed the couples medical history. Her first question was whether Balzano was ovulating. Irregular ovulation when a womans ovaries fail to release eggs during the appropriate phase of the menstrual cycle is one of the most common causes of infertility. Balzano wasnt sure it was difficult to track her erratic cycles at home. The specialist asked no follow-up questions. Its your weight, she said.
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Weight Fertility And Conception
Being overweight or underweight can cause hormonal changes that interfere with ovulation and reduce your fertility. Women who are obese take longer, on average, to conceive than women in the healthy weight range and are more likely to experience infertility.
In men, obesity can lower fertility. This is likely due to a combination of factors including hormone problems, problems with erection or other health conditions linked to obesity.
How Long Does It Usually Take To Get Pregnant
It’s impossible to say how long it takes to get pregnant because it’s different for each woman.
Many factors can affect a couple’s chances of conceiving, such as:
- your age
- your reproductive health
- how often you have sex
Some women become pregnant quickly, while others take longer. This may be upsetting, but it’s normal.
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Youre More Mature And Emotionally Prepared
While younger mothers may quickly lose patience, youre less likely to. Likewise, youve probably been reading baby books and experiencing other children to prepare yourself. Overall, youre more prepared to make parenting decisions than you would have been in your early 20s. One study even suggests children are more likely to be better behaved, well socialized, and emotionally healthy thanks to the more relaxed parenting behaviors that accompany having children later in life.
Risks Of Getting Pregnant After 40
While every biological clock is different, conception after 40 is difficult due to your egg supply decreasing with age. In fact, by the age of 40, 90% of your eggs are chromosomally absorbed, making it increasingly harder to conceive via natural methods. In your early 40s, your uterine line also begins to thin making it more difficult for eggs to implant and your male partner may begin to suffer from decreased virility and fertility as well. Even so, you still have a variety of options to choose from to assist you in getting pregnant. Well talk more about those later.
Because your body is older, you do have a higher risk of pregnancy complications than younger mothers. You may develop high blood pressure, diabetes, and placental problems during a late pregnancy. Premature labor and the need for c-sections also become more common as you age.
For your baby, getting pregnant at an older age comes with an increased risk of premature birth, low birth weight, congenital birth defects, and stillbirth. Frequent doctors visits and proper care will help you manage pregnancy and reduce some of these risks. Your doctor may recommend extra testing and monitoring to help prevent and detect any issues.
The cost of getting pregnant over 40 can add up if your conception methods go beyond the traditional. While options such as in vitro fertilization , egg freezing, and egg donation can help you get pregnant, they come with a higher price tag that your insurance provider may not cover.
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Have Sex Every Other Day During The Fertile Window
The “fertile window” spans a six-day interval the five days prior to ovulation and the day of it, according to theAmerican Society for Reproductive Medicine. Every month, a woman is most fertile on these days.
Many women are turning to new technology tools, such as fertility-tracking apps and websites, to help them keep tabs on when they may be more likely to conceive, but a 2020 review in the journalBMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health suggests that there is limited independent research on their accuracy. In a study published in 2016 in the journalObstetrics & Gynecology, scientists analyzed 50 popular fertility-tracking websites and apps with a hypothetical woman, and found that the results varied wildly, with many mistakenly tagging days outside of the fertility window, Live Science reported.
When a woman has identified that fertility window, should they have sex every day? Research has shown that there hasn’t been a big difference in pregnancy rates between couples who had sex every day during the “fertile window” compared with couples who did it every other day , Pavone said. “And having sex every other day might be easier for a couple to pull off,” she added.
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- Glow Ovulation, Period Tracker
- Fertility Friend FF App
- Clue: Health & Period Tracker
Tips For Improving Fertility
While genetic predisposition and age-related decline will have a significant impact on fertility, there are lifestyle changes women can make that may improve their chances of getting pregnant in their forties.
Emma Cannon is a fertility expert, registered acupuncturist and founder of the Emma Cannon Clinic. She believes simple lifestyle changes can have a big impact:
“Exercise, eat well and maintain a stable body weight obese women may have too much oestrogen due to too much body fat, which can contribute to fertility problems and low body fat can cause ovulation to stop. Abstain from alcohol whilst you’re trying for a baby, not just once you are pregnant. Cut out smoking way before you hit 40 – smoking accounts for 13% of the world’s infertility and ages you by 10 years in fertility terms.”
Cannon also recommends acupuncture, which has been shown to have a regulating effect on the body, improving pelvic blood flow and endometrial quality: “Research has shown it to be effective in improving IVF outcomes and stimulating ovulation in women who are not ovulating. I also recommend increasing your vitamin D intake which can help make the uterus more receptive.”
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Is There Anything Else I Can Do
No matter your age, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to help you get pregnant, like:
- stop smoking
- follow a healthy diet
You can also get your partner involved. It takes two to make a baby and your partner can also take a few steps to help boost your chances of conception. Keeping fit and healthy, reducing alcohol, and stopping smoking can help him create healthy sperm. He should also wear loose underwear and avoid hot baths: keeping the testes cool can help with sperm quality. And if you use any lubricant, make sure you buy the variety.
You can see more advice in our article on the .
Although fertility declines after 35, it is still possible to get pregnant and go on to have a healthy pregnancy. Its important to see your doctor, get the right prenatal care, and know when you ovulate to maximise your chances of getting pregnant after 35 naturally.
There are, of course, other options to getting pregnant like using an egg donor or freezing your eggs. You can also use IVF when a sperm and an egg are combined in a laboratory, and the embryo is frozen and then transferred to your uterus when you are ready. However, fertility treatments depend on many factors like your health and your age when the embryo was frozen. Talk to a fertility specialist and your doctor if you are considering an alternative route like an egg donor or IVF treatment.
Are My Eggs Bad After 40
All women have a percentage of eggs that are genetically abnormal. This means that even if those eggs are fertilized, the pregnancy will not end in a live or genetically normal baby. The percentage of normal eggs a woman has decreases as she ages. At age 25, a woman has approximately 75% normal eggs. By age 35, that number drops to around 45%, and by 40, its around 20-30%. This is one reason why most physicians recommend genetic testing for conditions such as Trisomy 21 in a pregnancy over age 35.
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Check In With Your Gp
Your GP is a great source of help when youre trying to get pregnant. Ask whether there are any specific blood or other tests they would recommend and ask any questions you may have.
Having a good relationship with your GP will also be helpful if you need to go down the assisted reproduction path in the future so keep the lines of communication open.
Start Taking Folate Supplements
Also known as vitamin B9, folic acid is incredibly important if you are trying to conceive. Folic acid supports the neural tube formation of your baby, ensuring proper brain development.
Doctors recommend taking at least 400 micrograms of folic acid a day leading up to conception and for the following 12 weeks after conception.
Why should you start taking folic acid before youre pregnant? The neural tube begins to develop quite soon after conception and is usually complete just four weeks into your pregnancy. Therefore, it might start to develop before you know youre pregnant.
Start taking a prenatal vitamin with folate as soon as you start trying for a baby. You can also get folate from eating beans, green leafy vegetables, and whole grains like brown rice.
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How Long Does It Take To Get Pregnant At 40
At peak fertility , the chance of a fertile couple conceiving in any one month is about 20-25%. After a year of unprotected intercourse, approximately 85-90% of those couples will conceive. This is why OB/GYNs generally recommend fertility testing for couples under 35 who have not become pregnant in one year of trying. By age 35, the chance of a successful natural pregnancy drops to 10-15% per cycle, and by 40, the chances hover around 5%. This does not mean conceiving after 40 is impossible, just that it will likely take longer. Thats why the recommendation for considering fertility testing after 40 is only 6 months.
Infertility Evaluation And Advanced Maternal Age
Infertility usually is diagnosed if a woman has not become pregnant after 1 year of unprotected intercourse . However, if she is 35 or older, the evaluation should begin after 6 months of trying unsuccessfully to conceive. If a couple has an obvious medical problem affecting their ability to conceive, such as absence of periods , sexual dysfunction, a history of pelvic disease, or prior surgery, they should begin the infertility evaluation immediately. Fertility tests may include ovulation detection and evaluation of the fallopian tubes, cervix, and uterus. The male partner will have a semen analysis. Most testing can be completed within 6 months, and appropriate treatment can be started immediately after the evaluation is completed.
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Other Questions About Getting Pregnant
Can you get pregnant while breastfeeding?
Yes, a woman can get pregnant while breastfeeding. It is possible to become pregnant as soon as three weeks after giving birth, even if the person is exclusively breastfeeding and has yet to begin menstruating again according to the U.K.’s National Health Service .
Can you get pregnant on your period?
Yes, it is possible to get pregnant if a woman has sex during their period, according to theCleveland Clinic. A woman is less likely to get pregnant during menstruation, but it is still possible. Women are most fertile around the time they ovulate, but predicting this window is not an exact science and this is particularly true for women who have irregular periods.
How to get pregnant fast
Many people want to know how to get pregnant as quickly as possible. There is no sure-fire way of ensuring a speedy conception, however by following the science and evidence the above tips can help you find the most optimal times to have sex and get pregnant.
Are pregnancy tests accurate?
When used properly, pregnancy tests are claimed to be up to 99% effective, according to the Mayo Clinic. If your test reads positive, this is rarely an error, however false negatives are more common, according to the NHS.
A pregnancy test works by detecting the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone . Around six days after successful fertilisation, the body produces this hormone.
Surgery And Fertility Rates
The number one reason for endometriosis surgery is to reduce pain symptoms. Beyond pain reduction, surgery may help increase the odds of pregnancy in somebut not allwomen.
For women with severe endometriosis, surgery does not appear to improve success rates for IUI or IVF. In fact, repeated surgeries can cause adhesions that make pregnancy more difficult.
On the other hand, some studies suggest that women with stage 2 or 3 endometriosis may have a slightly better chance of getting pregnant after excess tissue is removed.
However, if there is no pain, the risks of surgery usually outweigh any benefit in terms of improved fertility. You need to weigh the pros and cons with a surgeon to make a fully informed choice.
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Can A 44 Year Old Get Pregnant Naturally
If you are over 40 and wondering how to increase your fertility without going through treatments, there is some good news .
We all have all heard success stories from women over 40 and it looks like it really is possible. But why would it be easier to get pregnant naturally than with fertility treatments?
Well according to Anita of the Zita West clinic:
IVF stimulates the ovaries to push out as many eggs as possible great if shes younger and has loads of good eggs, not so great if shes older.
Mother Nature, however, may naturally select a dominant egg thats healthy.
Thats great news for anyone who wants to get pregnant at 42 or 46 with their own eggs.
Reduce Stress Wherever Possible
“When you’re in your early forties, you’re very aware of the biological clock ticking, loudly,” says Andrea Braverman, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in the Department of OB/Gyn at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. “You need to make sure you don’t psych yourself out and add to already high stress levels.” Mind-body behavioral techniques such as yoga or tai chi can help, as can cognitive behavioral therapy. Acupuncture may also be beneficial: Practitioners say it can increase blood supply to the uterus and help with hormones, and physicians generally accept its relaxation properties.
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Getting Pregnant After 40 With Fertility Treatment
After 6 months of trying naturally , its time to check in with a reputable reproductive endocrinologist to conduct some basic fertility testing and hopefully get rolling with a treatment fairly quickly. Since time is of the essence in your doctor is likely to skip over less aggressive treatments like IUI and straight into treatments like IVF that have higher odds of success. Here we will go over some of the most common treatments you may encounter at a fertility clinic.