Tips for Getting Pregnant at an Older Age

About 100 years ago, the average age of a first time mother was 22. Today, that average is around 28, and many couples are choosing to start their families in their 30s or even later. This makes sense, because lifespans have also dramatically increased, and also because many modern couples are concerned with establishing their careers before having children. Unfortunately, waiting to conceive does bring its own set of challenges. After age 35, fertility declines, making it harder to get pregnant. The good news is that it’s not impossible to conceive in your late 30s or even 40s, and there are things you can do to improve your chances.

What makes conceiving after age 35 difficult? For one thing, women ovulate less frequently. Egg quality and quantity also decline in the 30s and 40s, and pregnancy is riskier. It can take a long time for an older woman to conceive, and she’s more likely to develop conditions like high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. The risk of chromosomal abnormalities increases, and the risk of pregnancy loss is higher. Older moms are also more prone to premature delivery, and may end up needing a C-section. The father’s age plays a role as well. The decline of fertility is less predictable in men than in women, but research shows that men over 40 are 30 percent less likely to conceive than men in their 20s.

What can you do? There are some lifestyle changes you can make to boost your fertility. While it’s not possible to increase the number of eggs, supplements like folic acid, melatonin, and Myo-inositol can improve egg quality and ovarian function. Cutting out smoking, limiting alcohol and caffeine, eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, reducing stress, and maintaining a healthy weight can also increase fertility. If you’re having trouble conceiving, take the following steps.

  • See your doctor. A pre-conception appointment gives you and your doctor the opportunity to review your medical history and discuss your lifestyle. Your doctor can help you determine if any medications you’re taking could interfere with your fertility and address any concerns you may have about conception.
  • Keep a journal of your fertility signs. Record your basal body temperature and cervical fluid so that you can determine the best time to try to conceive. When you carefully observe these signs, you’ll also have a better idea of whether or not you’re ovulating regularly.
  • Take an at-home fertility screening test. You can buy these over the counter to help rule out issues with both male and female fertility.
  • Consider taking a supplement. Try folic acid or Myo-inositol to help improve egg quality. Some women choose to take a prenatal vitamin throughout the process of trying to conceive, to help with their health as they try to achieve pregnancy.
  • Stay positive but don’t hesitate to seek help. It will probably take you longer to conceive than if you were younger, so don’t worry too much if it doesn’t happen right away. However, if six months of trying does not result in pregnancy, talk to your health care provider about fertility testing or contact a fertility specialist. There are many options available to help you start a family.

At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people start families with healthy pregnancies. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.