There are many reasons woman wait to begin starting a family after the age of 35. Different life circumstances such as a focus on furthering a successful career, meeting the appropriate partner later in life or not feeling ready to become a parent are just a few of the reasons women delay having children until their mid to late 30’s.
For couples, ages 35 and older, infertility is defined as inability to become pregnant after 6 months of trying to conceive.
My personal journey to become a mother began in my late 30’s as I was pursuing a successful airline career. I didn’t feel ready to start a family until I was 39 years old. After becoming pregnant, things seemed to be progressing fine until, at 13 weeks, during a routine prenatal appointment, my midwife could not find a heartbeat. I was immediately sent to the hospital where the doctor confirmed the baby I was carrying was no longer alive. A DNC was scheduled because my body was not releasing the lifeless baby. To make matters worse, when I was in the hospital for the DNC, a nurse was shaming me because I was aborting a baby. She must not have read my chart because I wasn’t aborting anything that was alive.
Miscarriage is painful emotionally. It is painful because of the loss of the future and the hopes associated with the baby and the uncertainty of any future pregnancies resulting in a healthy baby. Fortunately, that miscarriage was followed by 2 successful pregnancies in my 40’s.
While studying Chinese medicine, as students, we were repeatedly reminded that if women wait to have children until their 30’s or later, it becomes increasingly difficult to conceive healthy babies. I disagree. Our bodies were meant to propagate many generations. If our bodies suddenly stopped procreating after age 30, where would the human race be?
There are many things we can do to enhance or inhibit our fertility later in life. Lifestyle is an important factor in assisting our fertility success. Is our life stressful? Do we eat fruits and vegetables or McDonalds? Are we sedentary or do we make a commitment to move our bodies daily? Do we watch TV after a long day or take quiet time to review the successes of our day? These actions may be small but they can make a difference in our fertility goals.
You may be asking yourself where acupuncture fits into all this. Acupuncture is thought to improve fertility by regulating the nervous system and increasing blood flow to the ovaries and uterus. 1Studies have also suggested that acupuncture improves the positive outcome of male infertility as well.2
If you are struggling with conceiving, call our office to discuss how acupuncture can help you on your journey to start a family.
- Huang DM, Huang GY, Lu FE, Stefan D, Andreas N, Robert G. Acupuncture for infertility: is it an effective therapy? Chin J Integr Med. 2011 May;17(5):386-95. doi: 10.1007/s11655-011-0611-8. Epub 2011 May 25. PMID: 21611904.