Women over the age of 40 can enhance fertility and increase the chances of conceiving a child. The March of Dimes recommends that any woman over 35 who cannot conceive a child should talk to her health care provider because many fertility problems are successfully treated. A woman over 40 has a small window of opportunity to have a baby before approaching the finish line of the childbearing years. There are ways to enhance fertility so you can get pregnant, and the process can be rewarding.
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Take a PABA supplement. In one isolated study, PABA increased fertility in women, but there is no modern research on PABA and fertility. The study showed that 12 out of 16 women who were previously infertile became pregnant after several months of PABA supplements. The author of “Do You Want to Have a Baby? Natural Fertility Solutions and Pregnancy Care,” recommends taking 400 mg of PABA daily to help increase fertility.
Get physical, but don’t overdo it. Losing some weight before pregnancy may help you get in shape and prepare for the physical exertions that come with carrying and delivering a child. However, too much exercising or weight loss can interfere with fertility. A long-term, strenuous exercise program can suppress the output of hormones called gonadotropins, which typically causes amenorrhea. A good exercise program to enhance fertility would include a combination of aerobic and strength training exercises, 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
Track ovulation. The only viable way for women over 40 to track ovulation is by looking at the consistency of your vaginal discharge. Just before ovulation occurs -- and until ovulation ends -- cervical fluid looks like egg whites and becomes slippery. Women over 40 cannot predict ovulation as accurately as younger women can because menstrual cycles are irregular and ovulation kits are unreliable. According to the American Pregnancy Association, women in perimenopause may have a high level of the LH hormone, so an ovulation kit -- that uses the LH hormone for predicting ovulation -- could result in a false positive.
Reduce stress. Many women who have unexplained infertility can conceive if they remove stress from their lives. For stress reduction, practice a form of meditation or go for a walk. Talk about your stress to a friend, family member or counselor so you have an outlet for stress from a reliable support system.
Improve your liver and kidney health. You must have a strong and healthy liver and kidneys in order to conceive and carry a child. Avoiding drugs, alcohol, caffeine, and cigarettes will improve liver and kidney health. Some prescribed medications can interfere with fertility. Talk to your doctor about your medications to see if they may interfere with fertility. Additionally, smoking cessation is very important if you want to conceive a child. "The Journal of the National Cancer Institute" reported a large amount of nicotine found in the cervical mucus of women who smoke, which caused the occurrence of DNA damage in the cervical epithelium. Further, nicotine is poisonous to sperm and disables the sperm from fertilizing the egg.
Experiment with different lovemaking positions and elevate your uterus after intercourse. Sperm have a hard time navigating upwards when a woman is on top of her partner when having intercourse. Likewise, sperm fights gravity when you elevate your uterus after intercourse. After intercourse, place a pillow under your thighs and lay on your back for about 30 minutes after intercourse. If you have a tilted uterus, place a pillow under your thighs and lay on your stomach for 30 minutes.
- March of Dimes: Pregnancy After 35
- “Do You Want to Have a Baby? Natural Fertility Solutions and Pregnancy Care”; Sarah Abernathy and Linda Page; 2006
- American Pregnancy Association: How Do I Calculate When I Am Ovulating?