A woman is born with all the eggs she is ever going to have. As she gets older, the quantity and quality of her eggs decrease and fertility along with it.
Once the number of eggs is nearly depleted, a woman enters menopause. However, there is a period of several years before menopause, when a woman has eggs and is still ovulating but can no longer get pregnant.
Why Is That
The quality of the eggs is poor. Eggs are cells just like any other cell in the body, and they, too, age as a woman gets older.
This means that although eggs may be released during ovulation, there are often times defects in these eggs that do not allow them to be fertilized in such a way as to produce a normal pregnancy.
Eggs go through the same aging process with time and they go through the most important stages of their development when they are ovulated and being fertilized by sperm.
So for a woman who is 35, her egg is also 35 when it goes through those critical developmental stages. A woman who is 45 has 45-year-old eggs, and thus they are more likely to have a mechanical “breakdown” during ovulation and fertilization that can lead to either errors in the chromosomes or errors leading to failed implantation of the embryo into the uterine lining.
Simply put, it is more difficult for women over the age of 40 to get pregnant because it’s less likely that the egg will develop normally and lead to a healthy pregnancy.
A woman’s fertility starts to decline after 30, with more significant changes after the age of 35. However, the most dramatic decline occurs after the age of 37 and continues until the age of 45, when the likelihood of pregnancy is exceedingly rare.
This is understandably a hard concept for women to grasp. They don’t feel old when they are 40, so it seems hard to believe that their eggs are so “old” that pregnancy is unlikely and the chance for conceiving may be only 1 in 5.
After the age of 40, not only does the chance for pregnancy decline steeply each year, but the chance for miscarriage also rises significantly each year.
Even with the use of IVF, by the time a woman is 45, her chance of conceiving with one embryo that developed from her own egg is 1 to 2 percent, and her chance for miscarriage exceeds 50 percent.
Over 40-plus woman
If you are 40 or older and want to get pregnant, it’s best to have a fertility evaluation right away to assess your chances for conception.
Unlike women who are 30 who can try to conceive for a year without needing a fertility assessment, women over 40 have a ticking clock.
The information learned in a fertility assessment can help with family planning by determining how long to try on your own or identify if you should immediately proceed with fertility treatment.
When couples waste all the ways to get pregnant,usually women try alternative ways, in hope that they will dress up with a smile of knowing that they are pregnant.
There are also a few specific foods you can eat in order to help retain or improve your fertility.
1. Whole grains, such as brown rice and unrefined breads
Refined carbs such as white bread, white rice and sugar,can cause an increase in blood sugar and insulin in the body that can disrupt hormones and your ovulation cycle. Whole grains don’t have this effect.
2. Lean meats
Iron is an important nutrient to aid fertility, and the easiest way to get iron in your diet is through meat , but it is recommended to be lean meat. Choose lean cuts,trim the fat and bake, grill, or broil instead of frying.
Studies show that women who increase their iron intake during the preconception period have a higher fertility rate than women who are iron-deficient.
Just don’t overdo your consumption of meat, because it can decrease fertility. If you’re a vegan, you may need to take a vitamin with iron in it.
3. Omega-3 fish
Salmon, sardines, herring, and other types of fatty fish boost fertility, thanks to their high levels of omega 3 fatty acids.
Not only will they increase blood flow to reproductive organs, but they also regulate reproductive hormones.
Vegans will benefit from omega-3 fatty acids from flax seeds, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and DHA-enriched eggs.
4. Organic dairy
Milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy sources are good for bone health as well as reproductive health. Some research shows that women who have problems with ovulation may benefit from a serving a day of full-fat dairy.
5. Organic raspberries and blueberries
All fruits and vegetables are great for you, but these berries are particularly good for fertility. Packed with antioxidants, they protect your body from cell damage and cell aging — and this includes cells in your reproductive system and your eggs.
Why You Should Fill Up On Fiber
Fiber is another tool to flush out excess estrogen.
Fiber adds bulk to your digestion and helps you feel full. It also helps prevent constipation, which keeps things “moving right along”.
When you have a diet with inadequate fiber, you can slow down your digestive system, and the estrogen that’s sitting in your bowel waiting to make its exit can get bored waiting and get reabsorbed into your system, causing a buildup of too much estrogen.
Pay attention to ingredient labels: you want to aim for about 25 grams a day (that’s the recommended daily intake level for women; men should get 38 grams).
If you’re not getting enough, then build up to optimal levels slowly over the course of about three weeks. You can use dietary supplements, but it’s better to get your fiber from food for several reasons.
For one, foods that are high in fiber are typically very good for you all around (such as fruits and vegetables that also contain important vitamins).
Plus, you can control the intake of fiber gradually throughout the day rather than taking just one big dose.
Good Sources of Fiber
- Fruits: raspberries, prunes, raisins, pears, blackberries, apples
- Legumes: navy beans, black beans, split peas, pinto beans, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans
- Vegetables: artichokes, green peas, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, sweet corn
- Grains, pasta, and cereal: whole-wheat spaghetti, rye bread, whole-wheat bread, bran flakes, oat-bran muffins
- Nuts and seeds: sunflower seeds, pistachios, almonds, pecans, walnuts, peanuts
If you have a sensitive stomach, you may want to limit your intake of dairy, which is hard for many people to digest even without a clinical lactose intolerance. But it is made an exception for yogurt ,because it contains probiotics — which have the opposite effect.
Probiotics are great for your gut, and like fiber, they can help your digestive system work better and improve your immune function, which improves your fertility as well.
You can take a daily probiotic supplement available at drug stores, or you can get probiotics from your diet. Good sources aside from yogurt, include kefir, sauerkraut, and miso.
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