I'm 35 and recently got married this fall. (In Crested Butte, CO and as far as I'm concerned it was the best day ever - here's a photo in case you'd like to see :).
We're taking our honeymoon this winter and when we start trying to conceive in a few months I'll be 36 years old and considered of “advanced maternal age”. That term really annoys me, but here’s why I’m not afraid of it.
Studies show that our age is not the biggest determining factor of our fertility. While fertility is shown to decline with age, time and age don’t directly damage fertility; rather they can tend to create conditions that lead to poor fertility. Factors like inflammation, oxidative stress, toxins, hormonal imbalance, and poor blood-flow to our ovaries are the biggest factors that can adversely affect our fertility.
In other words, it’s not age that hurts our fertility, it’s the quality of our health. Which is great news. Because while I can’t change my age, I CAN influence my health!
Other research shows that the three to four months before conception are crucial for our egg quality and fertility. Our immature eggs, called oocytes, are effectively suspended and asleep until about three to four months before they are ovulated. But during the several months leading up to ovulation, they go through a phase of huge growth and maturation. And the environment in which this growth and maturation occurs has a tremendous impact on the viability of the egg and, therefore, your chances of having a successful pregnancy.
With that in mind, here’s what I’m doing to prepare myself for pregnancy and maximum fertility.
- First, I’m prepping myself for pregnancy 3 months prior to when we actually start “trying”. I think of it as a “premester” and as time to cultivate my soil before planting my garden.
- I’m taking a high quality prenatal with the optimal form of folate. I recommend the Metagenics brand and use it myself. I’m also taking CoQ10, which studies show can boost fertility and egg health in women and reduce the chance of chromosomal abnormalities in embryos.
- I’m eating a clean, whole foods diet. Studies show that eating a Mediterranean diet boosts fertility and pregnancy outcomes, so I’m cutting out processed foods and bad fats, and opting for fish and lean proteins, and lots of veggies, and good fats like avocados and nuts.
- I drink a “fertility smoothie” every morning, followed by warm lemon water.
- I’m reducing my toxic exposure by getting rid of all plastic in my kitchen. I also checked my beauty products with the skindeep database.
Being a fertility specialist, as well as of "advanced maternal age" myself, has made me more aware of and sensitive to the myths and feelings of helplessness, anxiety, and fear that are perpetuated about pregnancy and fertility.
Over the past year I set out to research this more and answer some questions: how much do fertility rates actually decline with age? (Not that much, until the age of 45); what is behind this decline? (largely egg quality); and what can we do about it? (a lot more than you think).
And what I was most shocked about is how many peer-reviewed, well-designed, published scientific studies there are on specific lifestyle and dietary habits and their affects on fertility, pregnancy and miscarriage rates, and time to pregnancy.
Why aren't we being told this information?! And I'm an expert in the field, who didn't know some of these things until I went digging for them!
Well, I'm fired up and impassioned to share this information with other women who need it.
My acupuncture practice is full, I currently have a wait-list and only see new patients by referral, but I still want to get this information out to those who need it.
That's why I've created the Becoming Mama Method - to give women the research-based and clinically proven strategies we need to improve your fertility and chances of getting pregnant.
It walks you through my system step-by-step, and the resulting effect is that your egg quality, hormonal balance, and body will be in prime condition for pregnancy at the end of it.
Want to know more?