Improving egg quality
Old eggs …
How do you know you have them? And how old is too old?
If you are 35 or older, chances are that your body has already started slowing down in the reproductive organs, and there’s potential that your eggs need a little boost to liven them up. But don’t fret – it’s not impossible to get pregnant at 35 or older. You don’t just automatically stop being fertile at age 35.
AND … I’m a firm believer that you can “fix” your “old” eggs.
How Old Is Too Old?
It’s really hard to tell, as your chronological age (how old you are in years) can be different from your biological age (the rate your body is actually aging). If you are menstruating and ovulating regularly, there’s still a good chance that you can get pregnant, but the older you get the lower your chances each cycle.
This doesn’t mean it’s not possible – just that you have a lower chance of success within any given cycle.
For the average fertile couple with everything timed just right and no known fertility issues, their chances of getting pregnant each cycle is only 20%. That’s said not to discourage you, but to bring awareness that just because you go 4 or 5 months without getting pregnant it doesn’t mean you’re abnormal or that anything specific is wrong with your fertility.
What’s An Advanced-Age Woman To Do?
So, what can you do if you’re 36? or even 43?
My advice is to focus on your health, balancing hormones, and timing baby-making intercourse as much as possible. If your cycles are regular and you don’t have any known issues besides your age, then eat as healthy as possible.
This means, completely cut out junk food and processed foods – white sugar, white flour, white rice, processed meats, soda (both diet and non-diet), prepackaged foods (which usually contain a lot of artificial ingredients – all the obvious stuff.
Eat as “clean” as possible. By this, I mean eat lots of foods that are in their most natural state – whole foods. You don’t want empty calories. You want foods that are as nutrient dense as possible.
Pasture-raised, organic meats, pastured eggs, lots of leafy greens (especially important for advanced age), fresh fruits and vegetables (organic when possible), seeds and nuts, legumes, and fertility-boosting infusions (like red raspberry leaf and stinging nettle).
Superfoods & Herbs For Egg Quality
There are a number of superfoods and herbs known to help with egg quality. I have personally used maca and spirulina, and I believe they truly helped me get pregnant naturally at ages 39 and 41 after having two previous early miscarriages.
Maca is a nutrient-dense superfood that enhances the functioning of the whole body. Scientific research has proven that maca increases fertility. Another beneficial perk is its tendency to boost libido.
This fantastic superfood restores overall health, which in turn improves energy levels, sexual function, and overall fertility. It is a food (not a hormone) that has a dramatic effect on the endocrine system and aids the pituitary, adrenal, and thyroid glands, which are all involved in keeping hormones in balance.
It is well-known to be excellent for improving egg quality in older women who were trying to conceive. Since I was over 35 when I began taking it and considered “advanced age,” I figured it was worth a try. I truly believe maca helped tremendously in my success conceiving.
Spirulina is a blue-green algae superfood that is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and protein. Spirulina also contains essential fatty acids, which are helpful for balancing hormones.
Spirulina nourishes the endocrine, nervous, and immune systems, regulates metabolism, and repairs tissue. Increased fertility from spirulina is thought to be due to the high protein content, which in turn can increase the quality of your eggs.
Royal jelly is the substance that worker bees produce and feed to the queen bee. Because the queen bee is the only bee that is fertile within the colony, laying around 2000 eggs per day, this substance is considered to help promote fertility in humans as well (and specifically benefit egg quality).
Damiana is beneficial for toning, strengthening, and stimulating the reproductive organs. It also helps to balance hormone levels and improves egg performance and quality. Damiana also improves libido in both males and females (which is very important when trying to conceive). It is to be used before ovulation.
Damiana may be used safely by both men and women to help enhance libido, erectile function, sperm count and motility, as well as egg follicle maturation and viability. Natives of Central and South America have drunk damiana tea to help with all these issues.
Get Your Timing Right Each Month
It’s not only important to focus on egg quality and your overall health, it’s vital to get your intercourse timing right every single cycle. And don’t just guess about the timing to have intercourse – make sure you KNOW if and when you are ovulating.
You can do this by using Basal Body Temperature charting, cervical fluid observation, and OPK testing (or all three). There are certainly more methods (such as cervical position monitoring), but these were the three I used. The more methods you use, the better you will be able to tell when you are ovulating and target your baby-making intercourse accordingly.
BBT charting tells you after ovulation has occurred, which can be very beneficial for detecting a pattern in your cycle. You need to use other methods for knowing when ovulation is approaching. I like to use OPK strips, but others find it difficult due to irregular cycles. You can also purchase a more expensive fertility monitor (ranging about $300), which some women with irregular cycles find extremely beneficial when other methods fail. If it can clue you in on your cycle, it would be worth the cost.
Hope For Advanced Age
As hopefully, you can see, there is much hope for women who are 35 or older to conceive naturally. Don’t lose heart. Seek to be your healthiest, get your timing right, and de-stress daily. As with most natural methods, allow three months or more to see changes.
Guest author bio:
Sally Moran is an author and fertility coach who delights in helping women improve their fertility and get pregnant more quickly. You can connect with her at Getting Pregnant Faster where you can read her advanced-age infertility success story.