You are in your forties and you want to get pregnant. You remember from high school health-education class how it is done. But it’s not just about the birds and the bees anymore. It’s also about the Back-Up Plan.
Whether Prince Charming has finally arrived or you have given up on finding your knight in shining armor, there are things to know and to do to make the nine-month dream come true. While trying to get pregnant, you can take vitamins, eat a better diet, exercise, cut out the bad stuff (caffeine, cigarettes, alcohol) and try to reduce stress. You might try all the positions in the Kama Sutra. You can also opt for artificial insemination and/or holistic approaches.
That’s great, but here are 10 more things to know before you try to conceive. And keep your chin up; I’m 49 and I plan to have another baby.
Ovulation does not always occur right smack in the middle of a menstrual cycle. When getting pregnant the first time, it took me a while to find out mine was not on day 14 but on day 10. So maybe a trip to your doctor to draw some blood or to the drugstore to make a purchase of an ovulation predictor kit will be in order. Remember, you may not ovulate every month. If you get a positive that you are ovulating, you can do some legwork to find what sexual positions best help the sperm travel the right way. If not, consult the doctor on what to do next.
If your body does not produce the required mucus in the cervix to welcome the sperm or your body temperature is not high enough to show your body is ovulating, it does not necessarily mean you have to call it quits. After you have bonded with the thermometer, a doctor’s appointment might be recommended. Blood work, a checkup or maybe a fancy test called a laparoscopy, to look for abnormalities in the uterus, Fallopian tubes or ovaries, could be in order. Not to make you panic, but things like your thyroid, sugar level, a bit of endometriosis or poly cystic ovarian syndrome can make your body feel out of sync. If this is the situation, modern science is the way to go.
A dose or two or three of such well-known and not-so-well-known wonder medicines as Clomid, HCG, hMG, FSH and many others might help a mature egg release from the ovary, push down the Fallopian tube and be ready to greet the sperm. Watch out for possible side effects like headaches, blurred vision, dizziness or a multiple birth. If your body is still unreceptive to the arrival of the sperm and you are just not sure what is going on, it’s time to think of other solutions. Let’s face it, I hate to say this, I resent the insinuations, but there is this matter of our so-called age. If you’re no longer producing eggs and you didn’t freeze them when you were younger, an egg donor may be the way to go.
Before you panic when scientific terms like GIFT (gamete intrafallopian transfer) or ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) are being thrown at you, remember you must first discuss more friendly terms like IUI (intrauterine insemination) and IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization). IVF, the idea of a “test tube baby,” first successfully occurred in 1978 in the United Kingdom, with the birth of Louise Brown. Some of us still remember that. It is when a woman’s egg is fertilized by sperm outside the body in a dish in a lab.
Yes, IVF, if you choose, can be quite expensive. Numbers like $10,000 to $25,000 can be thrown at you. Check each medical center out carefully, not just for the cost, but for the success rate. If your medical insurance does not cover IVF or only covers a percentage, shop for one that is more affordable. Remember, though, the happiness a baby brings is priceless.
Do not give up. If the calendar and medical science do not bring you nine months of pickles and ice cream cravings with stretch marks, stained clothes and a giggly little being afterwards, try a little help from the holistic community. Popping an evening primrose oil capsule, some grape seed extract and a bit of friendly lactobacilli (found in yogurt and cheese) with water can possibly help. Lactobacilli creates an environment where cervical mucus is more effective, while grape seed extract increases blood circulation to the pelvic area. Another herbal supplement to try is chasteberry, which helps to normalize menstrual cycles and improve fertility.
Acupuncture combined with IVF has been shown to increase conception rates by at least 50 percent. So make like Sex In The City‘s Charlotte in her journey to get pregnant and go see an acupuncturist. Needles are placed into the body at energy points that relate to the reproductive organs. Depending on why you are having trouble getting pregnant, it may just work, with or without IVF. If I could use acupuncture for tooth pain, a few needles for a baby should be a piece of cake (chocolate cake).
Conception may not occur if the nerves attached to the reproductive organs are out of whack. So a trip to the chiropractor may be just the thing to do. Unpinch a pressed nerve that is caused by an accident, illness or stress and that alignment may assist in getting pregnant.
Reflexology’s manipulations and massage techniques used on the feet to trigger specific reflex points helps to balance hormones, which helps in getting that baby you want. Acupressure is similar to reflexology but done on various body points. It combines massage techniques to get to reflex points to target organs like the ovaries and the uterus.
Yoga’s slow movements can emotionally and physically relieve stress. Stress definitely does not help with getting or staying pregnant. If you can stop smoking through hypnosis, maybe counting backwards from ten will subconsciously assist your body in getting pregnant. And a massage will relax you, so you will have time for what to do next to get the pregnancy and the baby you deserve.