If you’re over 40 and currently trying to conceive, the possibilities may be limited as to how to achieve your ultimate result of Pregnancy. In cases of Infertility or Unexplained Infertility, Chinese Herbs can help accelerate any additional Fertility Support whether using IVF or not. Let’s take a look at issues around Egg quality.
The stats aren’t great about Fertility in the female over 40. The US says 33% of women over 40 are infertile and if you’re over 40 and trying to conceive, you should be seeking help after 3 months of unsuccessful attempts. Great! Feeling a bit deflated? That the odds are against you? Well, if you’re looking for an option to help stack the numbers in your favour, consider Traditional Chinese Medicine.
When age is the only factor in a woman’s Fertility plans, this is the perfect opportunity to introduce some Chinese Herbal Medicine and make up for limited time in assisting conception. This can help both partners, as optimising egg & sperm health can be a concern for an older couple.
Women over 40 are often presented with IVF as their only option. IVF can help many couples, but in cases of being a “poor responder” to fertility drugs, adding Chinese Herbal Medicine is safe and effective in getting the ultimate result. To read more on this, I wrote more on IVF & Herbs in this article.
If you’re over 40, you might be facing issues such as:
- Low AMH (Ovarian Reserve)
- Poor egg quality
- Poor implantation
- Conditions such as PCOS or PCO or Endometriosis
on top of other issues that many women face when trying to conceive such as stress, sleeplessness and exhaustion.
Quality not Quantity
The main issue with women over 40 is their egg quality, as this naturally declines with age.
Ovarian reserve becomes a big concern for some women over 40, leaving them scrambling trying to find something they can do to help the situation. If you’ve visited an IVF clinic, they tend to see age as the first challenge to a couple trying to conceive.
This isn’t to say age is ALWAYS a defining factor in Infertility. I have had a woman over 40 come in and after a few treatments just focusing on regulating her cycle and optimising hormones say she’s Pregnant. I too am amazed at how the age factor varies. Some women over 40 are still very fertile, some women in their late 20’s are struggling with infertility.
The bottom line is age is a factor, but not always. Confusing, huh?!
Can we change the number of our eggs?
A female foetus already has their number of eggs determined when in the womb, and has lost some by the time of her birth, and continues to lose them throughout her life until menopause. There isn’t much that Medicine can do to prevent the natural decline of ovarian reserve over our lifetime.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the attitude is let’s do the best with what she has left. It’s optmistic – it’s about making the most of what is available and enhancing the QUALITY of her follicles and eggs. Of which IVF unfortunately doesn’t offer much support or answers.
What can be done about it?
Quality of eggs becomes the focus for an Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbal Medicine Practitioner in their point and herb prescriptions, as this is the gap in Western Medical Care. Lifestyle factors such as sleep, rest, relaxation, food & drink, eliminating bad habits such as smoking or recreational drugs is essential here to boost egg quality, but the IVF clinics do mention that too.
I find using Acupuncture alone in improving egg quality does take some time and the suggested adherence to treatment lies somewhere between 3-6 months minimum. It generally takes 3 months to regulate any minor hormone disruptions and then for some couples it can take a little longer to concieve even when using Traditional Chinese Medicine. If I want to try and accelerate the results, Chinese Herbs are suggested, as this can influence egg and sperm quality faster, using substance(herbs) to enhance a substance(egg & sperm) on the cellular level.
Research about Chinese Herbs and factors for Women over 40
Best of Both worlds
Ultimately, sometimes Chinese Medicine does help people conceive on their own and sometimes IVF is needed. In the case of couples over 40, time is limited and of the essence.
Maximising your health & wellbeing during a course of Chinese Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture becomes paramount, as we make the most of your egg and sperm quality and couples have conceived naturally using Chinese Herbal Medicine.
If IVF is needed, so be it, as there are some situations where it is necessary. My wish is that people don’t rush into IVF if they have no challenges conceiving. It should be reserved for people who really need it as in the case of some women over 40. The combination of both Chinese & Western Medicine is a great thing for couples trying to conceive.
If you’d like to start a conversation about what you’ve tried so far, where you’re struggling and where you’re up to in your fertility journey, you can email me at email@example.com
Registered Acupuncturist & Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner