Is Shame Getting The Best Of Your Fertility? Are you worried about getting pregnant? Do you think all your eggs have gone bad? Are you mad at yourself or your partner for waiting too long to try for a baby?Did someone tell you that you are too old to get pregnant naturally? These are the types of worries I hear about day in and day out in my clinic. And, I wish it weren't the case, but it is: women are dealing with a tremendous amount of shame surrounding their age and their ability to get pregnant.
As a women's health and fertility expert who got pregnant naturally at the age of 40 (after only a few months of trying!) I am here to quell your fears. I have been helping women optimize their health and fertility for over a decade and what I see over and over again is that your ability to get pregnant has less to do with your age and more to do with your overall health. You see, pregnancy is a physiological luxury—one that all women, up until their mid to late 40's—should be able to enjoy if they are in optimal health. As I always say, when a women's body is in optimal health, getting pregnant comes naturally because that is what the female body is primed to do. However, when the body is under duress or is malnourished or sleep deprived or depressed it does not have the reserves to procreate. Rather, it is in survival mode and creating another life and nourishing and nurturing it for ten months it is out of the question. Think about it, how can a body that is barely surviving itself get pregnant?
On top of that, the hard data does not support the fact that fertility declines dramatically with age. Yes, fertility declines as we get older, but not nearly to the extent we are led to believe. Most information out there on age and fertility tells us that one in three women (about 33%) over the age of 35 will NOT get pregnant naturally after one year of trying. Yet, the science says something different: a women's odds of conceiving within one year of trying from age 35 to 40 is only about 7% to 8% less than that of a women aged 27 to 30 (http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/07/how-long-can-you-wait-to-have-a-baby/309374/). Furthermore, there is emerging scientific research that supports the fact that physiological age (meaning how old our cells are) plays a much greater role in fertility (and health) than does chronological age (how many years old we are) (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3857638/)
What does all this mean to you? Bottom line: you can shift your health and improve your fertility. Yes, you can! Even if you've been told you have low ovarian reserve, you can still improve the quality of the eggs you do have left. You can always improve the quality of your overall health and it is from a place of abundant and flourishing health that life can be created. My advice: focus less on your age and more on your health.