Am I running out of time to have a baby? Natural Solutions for Advanced Maternal Age

in-vitro fertilization ivf yinstill reproductive health

It’s no secret that women these days are making the decision to conceive much later in their lives than they were, say, 30-40 years ago. In my opinion, this is a wise decision in many ways as we are giving ourselves the opportunity to build up both financially and emotionally in preparation for nurturing a new life. The downfall here is that nature created us so that we as women have this “biological clock” that everyone talks about. So what does that really mean?

To sum it up, a girl is born, goes through puberty around age 12 at which point she begins to ovulate each month (given a regular cycle) and lose eggs with each cycle. She stays in her prime child-bearing years until the time her cycle begins to taper off during a phase called perimenopause which usually happens in the forth decade of life. Perimenopause then progresses to menopause, which is when a woman is no longer menstruating (for 1 year) and therefore unable to conceive. The age at which a mother went through menopause is a strong predicting factor for when her daughter will as well.

We have known since the late 1870s that women are born with a finite number of oocytes (eggs). Recently, however, biologists have been making interesting discoveries to suggest that special stem cells within the ovary are capable of turning into new egg cells when stimulated outside of the body. Currently, scientists in the field of reproductive biology are continuing to research this phenomenon to make sure it can be replicated.[1]

Nevertheless, advanced maternal age continues to be a challenge in the field of fertility and assisted reproduction. One thing that is important to understand is that a woman does not simply become infertile once she hits menopause. This is a process that takes years with fertility slowly beginning to decline as early as age 23. When I say “fertility”, in this case I am referring to egg quality and there are certain tests that we rely on for giving us an idea of a woman’s egg quality such as day 3 FSH, estradiol and inhibin B.

Since egg quality is so important in a case of advanced maternal age, it is obviously a factor that we focus on heavily in these cases. We aim to support a healthy environment for healthy eggs as well as encourage a healthy environment to support and sustain a healthy pregnancy. Here are the general treatments:

1. Eat, meditate, run. Not exactly Eat, Pray, Love, but this formula is designed to help you decrease inflammation and stress and increase antioxidants, energy and endorphins. All of my treatment plans start with some form of dietary improvements because, let’s face it – you are what you eat. Imagine that each time you take a bite of food, you are directly feeding your ovaries. Would they like junk food or alcohol? Would they thrive on sugar and coffee? The common sense answer is NO. We are all well aware of the types of foods that are good for our bodies and our ovaries. The hard part is applying this knowledge to daily decisions when it comes to making the choice about what goes on our plate. Layering on top of the basic knowledge that we have about good foods and bad foods, I educate my patients on the types of foods that promote vs combat inflammation in the body. Inflammation is thought to be the start of all disease and is thought to originate in the gut. It’s what happens when you injure yourself and experience pain and swelling somewhere in the body. Imagine this reaction taking place on a slightly smaller scale but over an extended period of time in your entire body. A lot of cell damage and death ensues. This is why it is crucial to eliminate anything in your diet and lifestyle habits that can contribute to this inflammatory process on a day to day basis.
2. Supplements & Herbs. Keeping up with the theme of inflammation, we support the body with natural anti-inflammatory supplements and herbs that have a direct combative effect on this process. We also focus on supplements strong antioxidants and sometimes relaxing herbs to keep stress levels at bay.
3. IV vitamins & nutrients. One of the most important in-office treatments we provide, this is the most effective way of getting vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants into the body, especially when we’re on a tight schedule. I use IVs to help prep women undergoing fertility treatments like IUI and IVF, and continue to provide treatment during the first trimester if pregnancy occurs. The purpose is to help increase nutrient status, help deliver more nutrients to the reproductive organs, help increase antioxidants, and help sustain a pregnancy in the crucial first few weeks. To learn more about IV therapy click here – https://yinstill.com/blog/iv-solution-stress.
4. Acupuncture. This is the perfect in-office treatment to complement IV therapy as it involves a holistic approach to the mind and body. Acupuncture is extremely relaxing and effective for bringing down perceived stress levels. It also helps regulate digestion, energy levels, emotions, and sleep. All of these things are important in ensuring the best possible environment for a healthy egg.
5. Bowen Therapy. This is a solution that is offered for patients who prefer a needle-free approach. Bowen Therapy can be used specifically for fertility treatment and works by addressing and re-setting the nervous system which influences the rest of the body. It is also extremely gentle and relaxing, yet has profound effects. To learn more about Bowen Therapy, click here – https://yinstill.com/blog/bowen-fertility-gentle-approach-improve-you….

All in-office treatments are recommended on a weekly basis to start. Treatment length varies as some women come in when they know they have an upcoming IVF cycle. Although it is never too late to start complementary treatment, it is preferred that we have about 3 months to work together before any procedures as this is the length of folliculogenesis (egg selection). Pricing varies based on the frequency of treatments but most people find it well worth the outcome of a new and improved you and the possibility of holding your own baby. Avoiding daily coffee and take out meals is approximately equivalent to the monthly cost of treatment at Yinstill.

We offer complimentary phone consults to all patients who are interested in what we do. If you are looking to support your egg quality naturally, give us a call or email office@yinstill.com to book an appointment.

In health,

Dr. Shilo

References:

1. https://www.nature.com/news/reproductive-biology-fertile-mind-1.11805

Image: https://www.genea.com.au/my-fertility/i-need-help/female-trouble-conceivi…

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