How to Get Pregnant Over 40 – 10 Tips to Increase your Fertility

Are you planning on getting pregnant in your 40s? Once you are over 40, or struggling with infertility when you are younger, there are some effective steps that you can take to boost your fertility naturally and increase your chances of conception and a successful pregnancy and a healthy baby. Check out these 10 top tips to getting pregnant #naturalearthymama #infertility #over40

In this post we are going to look at how to get pregnant over the age of 40, and what you need to know about the risks and benefits of a later pregnancy.

Please read: This information is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions in partnership with a qualified health care professional.

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As well as what you can do to increase your chances of a successful pregnancy when you are in your forties.

Many women are choosing to delay having their families until later in life. Sometimes is it not a choice, merely a result of what life has thrown at them.

Some women have had children when she was younger, but now wants another with her new love of her life.

What happens to your fertility as you age?

As you get older, your body slowly starts to wind down it’s fertility.

This usually starts to happen around age 40, with the final action of menopause occurring between 45 and 60 years of age depending on the woman.

The Menstrual Cycle in the Childbearing Years of a Healthy Woman

Approximately from the ages of 11-40 years, you will usually experience regular hormone fluctuations and a menstrual cycle every 27-36 days.

For some women it doesn’t start until a bit later in life, and for some it is never regular, especially if you happen to have Polycystic Ovaries.

The Menstrual Cycle in the Later Years of a Healthy Woman

Once a women is about 40-50 years her cycle starts to wind down, eventually coming to a complete halt.

Most women begin the natural phase known as climacteric around the age of 40, this is the slow wind down of the fertility cycles. And an increase of menopause symptoms creep in.

At this time, the menstrual cycle length begins to shorten from about 28 days to around 24-26 days, this is because the ovaries begin to lose their ability to produce mature follicles, estrogen and progesterone, so they don’t always ovulate, or do so early.

Egg quality begins to decline from the age of 30, but this drops off even more so over the age of 40. This will naturally cause fertility issues for women of this age trying to conceive.

Over the next 5-15 years the cycles may become shorter, longer, or the cycle may be skipped or a mixture of all 3.

Ovulation becomes more sporadic, it may or may not occur during any given cycle as a woman approaches menopause.

Menopause is confirmed once a woman has not had her menstrual cycle for at least one full year, and is between the ages of 40-60.

Try our 14 day fertility boosting challenge TODAY

Risks of a pregnancy over 40

In 1970 1 out of 100 pregnant moms were over the age of 35, today’s it is 1 in 7.

There is some risk involved in being an older mama, but the actual statistics are not as bad as some people make them out to be. Often it is just a 1-2% increase of risk, and the risks are very small to start with.

However, the increase in risk of pregnancies over the age of 40 are real, albeit quite small.

Here are some of the risks that increase with increasing maternal age:

1. Gestational diabetes

2. Pre-eclampsia

3. Miscarriage

4. Preterm delivery

5. Problems with the placenta (placenta previa, placental insufficiency, placental abruption)

6. Stillbirth

7. Cesarean delivery

If your partner is over the age of 40 (even if you are not) it can increase the risk of chromosomal disorders as well.

However, most women having babies in their late 30’s and early 40’s, have perfectly normal pregnancies and babies.

The benefits to having a baby after 40

Not everything about having a child in your 40s is bad and risky! There are many benefits to having children later in life.

Some possible benefits to being an older mom include:

  • Having financial stability
  • Already having your career established
  • More patience with others
  • Time to explore the world when you’re young, then focus on kids later

Preparing for conception over the age of 40

Having healthy fertility over the age 40 is probably going to take a bit more effort on your part.

It is so much more vital you eat well, exercise regularly, reduce poor lifestyle choices, and consider seeing a fertility specialist.

A full hormone test panel run will help you to know where your hormone levels are at and what hormones may need to be supported specifically.

Progesterone is naturally produced in your luteal phase, and if you are pregnant, these levels should stay high until the placenta hormones can take over at around 12 weeks of pregnancy.

If your progesterone level is too low, you will not be able to hold a pregnancy without hormone support. Many fertility supplements focus on balancing the estrogen and progesterone hormones.

If you are undergoing fertility treatment, they will often continue you on progesterone until about 12 to 14 weeks of gestation.

If your partner is over 40, you should also get his sperm checked.

You should be focusing on:

  • Eating well to support your body
  • Improving egg health
  • Improving uterine health and tone
  • Supporting your hormonal balance
  • Supporting cervical mucus production
  • Managing stress levels
  • Timing ovulation and sexual intercourse
  • Checking your mans health
  • Detoxing and avoiding more toxins

Medical options for trying to conceive over the age of 40

If you have been trying for a child naturally for 6 months or longer with no success, it is time to get in to see a doctor.

Most women over the age of 40 will find they have what is called a diminished ovarian reserve where both the numbers of and egg quality start to decline.

While this is completely natural and normal, it can affect your ability to get pregnant from month to month.

Depending what your ovarian reserve is determined as, fertility doctors may suggest Clomid to stimulate ovulation, intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF), or an egg donor from a younger woman, or suggest hormonal medications.

These procedures all have better success if you are in the best health and are doing everything you can to support your reproductive health prior to engaging in medical assistance ( 1 ).

If, leading up to a fertility procedure, you have been using herbs or supplements to support your reproductive hormones, you should discuss these with your doctor, as they can interfere with the hormones they give you.

Try our 14 day fertility boosting challenge TODAY

Are you planning on getting pregnant in your 40s? Once you are over 40, or struggling with infertility when you are younger, there are some effective steps that you can take to boost your fertility naturally and increase your chances of conception and a successful pregnancy and a healthy baby. Check out these 10 top tips to getting pregnant #naturalearthymama #infertility #over40

Natural options for Women Trying to Conceive Over 40

Even if you are getting medical help, adding in these natural components give you the best likelihood of success with each cycle.

1. Eat a High Fertility Diet

This is the single most important thing you can do for improving your chances of conception over the age of 40 (or under it for that matter!)

The dramatic improvement in egg health through diet changes alone is significant. Especially when you switch to a nutrient dense fertility diet that is:

  • Low in carbohydrates
  • Low in industrial oils (from seeds and grains)
  • High in natural fats and saturated fats (butter, tallow, lard, dripping, olive oil, dairy fats)
  • High in organic vegetables
  • LOW in sugar and grains (none would be best!)
  • Enough animal protein to keep your body fighting fit
  • Includes daily fertility superfoods like spirulina , maca , and royal jelly .
  • Avoids toxic estrogen raising foods

Read more about a fertility diet here.

2. Fertility Boosting Exercise

Exercise has many benefits to boosting fertility. It can:

  • Help your body sweat out xenestrogens ( 2 )
  • Improves insulin sensitivity ( 3 )
  • Balances hormones ( 4 )
  • Increases blood flow to reproductive organs
  • Improves a feeling of well being

Read more about boosting fertility with exercise here

3. Improving your Egg Quality and Health

Egg health and count begins to decline steeply at around the age of 37-40.

It is crucial that you work to preserve and increase your egg health as soon as you consider having a baby.

Ideally you will be working on this for at least 3 months before starting to try to conceive. This is because it takes about 3 months for an egg to get ready to be released.

To improve your egg health, you should be:;

4. Improving your Uterine Health

Thanks to hormonal changes that start around the age of 40, a woman’s uterus slowly begins to lose muscle tone.

To get through a healthy pregnancy and efficient labor you need to have a strong uterus.

There are some things that you can be doing to improve your uterine tone before pregnancy.

Best herbs for uterine tone

1. Dong Quai

Dong Quai tones and strengthens the uterus by regulating hormonal control, improving uterine tone, and improving the timing of the menstrual cycle. It increases the blood flow to the reproductive system, reducing congestion and pain.

2. Red Raspberry Leaf

Red raspberry leaf is high in vitamins and minerals as well as an easily-absorbed form of calcium. It is also a wonderful uterine tonic. It has been shown to be a great help in the efficiency of the uterus during labor. This herb is considered to be one of the safest for pregnancy and pregnancy preparation.

3. Rehmannia

Rehmannia has been used for hundreds of years to relax the smooth muscles of the uterus. Rehmannia is also extremely nourishing to the blood for a healthy uterine lining.

4. Damiana

Damiana helps to encourage circulation and blood supply to the uterus. It also increases libido in both men and women.

5. Crampbark

Crampbark promotes a calm, relaxed, and healthy uterus. One of the best herbs to promote proper function and efficiency of the uterus.

5. Improving your Cervical Mucus

Cervical mucus production relies on balanced hormone production, as they decline naturally so does your cervical mucus.

Women that have low or no cervical fluid, at any age, find that it is harder for the sperm to reach the awaiting egg for conception.

To naturally improve your cervical mucus production:

6. Managing your Stress levels

Life is pretty stressful. Especially when you are also trying to have a baby!

Stress increases the levels of cortisol, in the body which inhibits the body’s main sex hormone GnRH (gonadotropin releasing hormone) and this will result in suppressed ovulation, low sexual activity, hormone balances and even low sperm count.

We offer a free 30 day Creating Calm challenge to help you manage stress in your life. You can grab it here.

7. Track and Chart Your Cycle

If you do not already chart your cycle, you really should begin now.

Women over 40 only have about a 5% chance of conceiving each cycle, if you don’t know when your peak fertility days are, you can knock that back to 0%.

You have a 6-day window to get pregnant, with only 2 peak days. Once you know roughly when you ovulate, you can begin trying to conceive 3 days prior to ovulation, the day of ovulation and 2 days after that.

For more on tracking and charting your cycle go here.

8. Support your Hormonal Balance

Your whole menstrual cycle relies on good hormonal balance.

You need to support your body’s natural production of your hormones to keep them balanced and functioning well.

The main 3 that we are looking to support are:

  • Estrogen
  • Progesterone
  • Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)

It is quite possible that as you age, your changing hormone levels may interfere with conception or maintaining pregnancy.

Herbal medicine that support hormone balance

Traditional Chinese medicine uses herbs to successfully balance a woman’s hormones. Commonly used herbs include:

Vitex (Vitex agnus-castus)

Maca (Lepidium meyenii)

Shatavari(Asparagus racemosus)

These can also help reduce premenstrual symptoms including breast pain and irritability.

Also, if your second half of your cycle (from ovulation to your period starting) is less than 12 days, you should look in to adding natural progesterone cream to your routine from ovulation day to the day your period starts.

If you get pregnant, then you should continue to use the cream until you are 13 weeks pregnant.

Vitamins and minerals to help boost fertility

Vitamins B6, B9 (folate), B12, C, D3 and E are all very important to hormone function and are recommended to those that are trying to conceive.

Vitamin B6

Known to help improve your corpus luteum function, B6 is taken if you have luteal phase defect or a short second half of your cycle.

You should start off low at about 50 mg/day of B6 all cycle long and increase it by 50 mg each month until you reach a max of 200 mg. High doses of synthesized vitamin B6 can cause nerve damage, but you’re safe at 200 mg or less.

Vitamin B9 (Folate)

Folate supplementation is recommended for anyone trying to conceive. It is commonly taken in its synthetic form – folic acid. Folate is required for your baby to form its spine and brain well, and since recommending folic acid supplements to all pregnant women, the rates of spina bifida has dropped significantly.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that we cannot make ourselves. It is essential to nerve and brain function and development, and it is only available in a useable form from animal foods.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is used throughout your body as an anti-oxidant, and is used in many metabolic pathways and it supports your immune function

Vitamin D (D3)

This vitamin your body can synthesize from cholesterol and sunlight, but most of us are deficient in it. It is used as a steroid hormone in your body and a deficiency in Vitamin D3 (its active form) has been shown to cause a wide range of metabolic, hormone and physical disorders – from obesity, cancer and osteoperosis.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E helps your cells to remain elastic and functioning, it helps boost both egg and sperm health.

9. Check your man’s health

Men should also be following a high fertility diet, exercising regularly and taking coQ10, omega 3s and Zinc to ensure optimal sperm health. Drinking plenty of water and avoiding hot baths/spas and keeping those swimmers cool will also help.

Men should have their sperm count checked, and if he has any food allergies, removing them from his diet can also help. They can also benefit from the fertility boosting challenge!

Try our 14 day fertility boosting challenge here

10. Detoxing and Avoiding Toxins

Sex cells are very sensitive to oxidation, contamination and destruction. Toxic substances in and on our food, skin care products and in our environment can all negatively affect your reproductive health.

For the 3 months leading up to trying to conceive, and right through until the baby is born, try and totally avoid the following:

  • Pesticides
  • Herbicides
  • Fungicides
  • Chemical additions to foods
  • Soda (especially fake sweeteners)
  • Energy drinks
  • Cigarettes
  • Alcohol
  • Recreational drugs
  • Many prescription drugs (check with your doctor)
  • Strong fumes from paint, aerosol cans
  • Fake scents in perfume and skin care
  • Heavy metals in lead paint and deep sea fish

Allow your body to detox from these substances buy avoiding consuming them, and drink plenty of fresh water and eat lots of leafy greens to support your body to flush these things out of your system.

Avoid any weight loss “detox” programs. These are ironically usually filled with rubbish you need to be avoiding. Eating a clean, organic diet and avoiding adding to your current toxic load is all your body needs to allow it’s natural detoxing system to start working well again.

Vitex for fertility over 40

Agnus Castus is also known as vitex or Chasteberry Tree. Its traditional use is for balancing a womans hormones.

Clinical trials have shown that that it is beneficial in balancing hormones and reducing PMS symptoms as well as improving ovulation rates and reducing symptoms of women with PCOS. (1, 2, 3,)

Here is a quote from one of the systemic reviews of the science literature:

“Thirteen randomised, controlled trials were identified and twelve are included in this review, of which eight investigated premenstrual syndrome, two premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and two latent hyperprolactinaemia. For premenstrual syndrome, seven of eight trials found Vitex extracts to be superior to placebo (5 of 6 studies), pyridoxine (1), and magnesium oxide (1). In premenstrual dysphoric disorder, one study reported Vitex to be equivalent to fluoxetine, while in the other, fluoxetine outperformed Vitex. In latent hyperprolactinaemia, one trial reported it to be superior to placebo for reducing TRH-stimulated prolactin secretion, normalising a shortened luteal phase, increasing mid-luteal progesterone and 17β-oestradiol levels, while the other found Vitex comparable to bromocriptine for reducing serum prolactin levels and ameliorating cyclic mastalgia. Adverse events with Vitex were mild and generally infrequent.”

Vitex extract (or vitex tincture) can be prescribed by a naturopath, or you can buy capsules over the counter in many health food shops. The usual dose if 400-1200mg per day, usually divided into 2 doses, though some take it all at once.

It might be under the name vitex or vitex agnus castus, or its other name – chasteberry. Just check the ingredients, you want one that only has this single ingredient in it.

If your cycles traditionally involve breast tenderness or other menopause symptoms, a vitex supplement may well help you achieve better hormone balance. It is generally well tolerated, and the studies report low to no intolerances. As always, check with your doctor before starting new herbal medicine.

It can take a few months to take full effect, but some women report that it improves much faster than that. Vitex agnus castus extract or capsules are cheap and readily available, and generally considered safe to take, so it is worth a try to see if they help you improve your hormone balance and fertility.

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.

These are Fertility Products I Use and Recommend

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Disclaimer: The information on Natural Earthy Mama is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dana and her community. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product.