Conception Boosters: For Women (and Men!) 35 and Older

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably waited to have children to establish your career and/or took your time finding the perfect partner. Either way, you’re in good company, as more women in the US are waiting to have their first baby after the age of 35.

In the medical arena, professionals call this “advanced maternal age”. Don’t let the title throw you for a loop – it simply means you will be 35 or older when you deliver. It will probably take longer to conceive than when you were in your 20’s and early 30’s, but we’ll give you some insight on boosting your conception:

Fertile Window

According to the Keck School of Medicine of USC, if you’re 30 or younger, there is a 20% chance of getting pregnant in any given month, but by age 40, conception drops to 5%.

Knowing when your fertile window is open will tell you when is the best time for baby making. Your fertile window is the 6-day-long period during your menstruation that ends 24 hours after the time of ovulation. Usually, your chances of becoming pregnant will fall into the three-day period ending on the day of ovulation. Your chances of conceiving are higher if you have sex every 1-2 days during the fertile window.

It’s relatively easy and inexpensive to buy urine ovulation kits to track this period.

Fertile Technology

In addition to the standard ovulation predictor tests, there are some apps that incorporate oral thermometers and handheld devices to retrieve and collect data to learn the best times to get busy and conceive.

You may consider the OvaCue, which syncs with their OvaGraph Fertility Charting mobile app. The hand held monitor, which retails for $299 measures both basal body temp and your cervical fluid to give you the thumbs up for optimal conception.

A free option is Glow, which uses your personal data to pinpoint the best baby making times. A nice bonus is that your man’s data can also be entered, so you’re both aware of how to optimize fertility.

It Takes Two, Baby

Fertility prep is a shared responsibility. Experts advise both men and women to strive for optimal health while trying to conceive. Fertility is improved when you’re both at a healthy weight, eat a diet rich in antioxidants, exercise, and manage medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. If either of you smoke, this may be the motivation you need to stop. Smoking can decrease fertility by up to 13% in women.

Maximize Male Fertility

There are a few things your man can do to maximize his fertility. One is to wear boxers. While there is no conclusive evidence it increases fertility, it does keep the scrotal temperature cooler and may improve sperm quantity and quality. Hot tubs and laptops on his lap should be avoided as well.

If your man is overweight, it’s time to get in shape. Obesity has been clearly linked to impaired sperm production. If he’s a processed meat kind of guy, steer him away from it. Swedish researchers found that men who ate the least amount of processed meats had 82% of their partner’s eggs fertilized versus 54% of men who ate the most processed meat. Although this study was done using conventional IVF cycles, it clearly shows a relation to good eating habits and increased fertility.

As your man is making healthy changes, remember it generally takes about three months for the quality of the sperm to be improved.

Baby Making

You may have heard that certain love making positions or lying flat after sex will increase chances of conception, but according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, sperm reaches the fallopian tubes within minutes regardless of position during or after sex.

The ASRM does recommend you refrain from using lubricants during your fertile window, as they make the sperm move slower and decrease their survival rate. You doctor can recommend safer lubricants to avoid this.

When to See a Fertility Specialist

If you have no success after six months of unprotected sex, it may be in your best interest to see a fertility specialist. With advanced maternal age, time isn’t on your side. An evaluation will include various tests for you and your partner. The results will help you optimize your conception success.

Got any conception-boosting tips from your doctor/friends/family/that lady down the street with 10 kids? Share them with us!

Tags : pregnancy   conception   

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