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  • Forty and Beyond- Starting a Fertility Journey After the Big 40

    Fabulous Forty. The Big 40. Ruby Jubilee. However you look at it, turning forty is a big deal. It’s a time where most women start to rethink their goals, view themselves differently and for some, become more comfortable in their skin. Others however take on something else, something new- a journey towards fertility treatment. 

    Before turning forty many women focus solely on their careers. Just think about it. In your twenties you’re fresh in your career, going out, trying to make a name for yourself and enjoying being young. Then before you know it, your thirties come around. This is a time where most women balance out their lives with marriage or even focus more on their jobs, becoming successful, and working that nine to five to make it big. Then in a blink of an eye, the big one is just around the corner- staring you in the face. But truly, turning 40 although a milestone is not that big of a deal. It’s also not uncommon to wait until a woman turns forty before thinking about settling down and starting a family. If that sounds like you, then you’re in the right place. If you’ve just turned forty or are in your forties, ready to start a family or about to start fertility treatment then this article is perfect for you. Keep reading and discover important tips to keep in mind, strategies to help guide you and comfort as you move forward. 

    Keep Your Body and Mind Healthy

    As we all age the number one recommendation from doctors is to eat healthy and exercise. This is also important when starting or going through fertility treatment. The foods you eat and put in your body have a huge impact on your overall health, so why mess with that especially when you’re about to embark on a journey like fertility. Foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals and limited in how they’re processed are the best choices to keep your body feeling strong and healthy. Nutrient rich foods have also been proven to keep your hormones regulated and your body feeling its best. Just think about how you feel when you consume too much fried or processed foods. Most likely you’re sluggish and weighed down. Other helpful hints:

    • Take a daily multivitamin with folic acid

    • Stop smoking 

    • Limit drinking

    • Get Quality Sleep

    As we get older and metabolism slows it’s important to focus your nutrition on clean, fresh, whole ingredients. You want to do everything you can to stay healthy and energized for life! And that’s exactly what exercise can also do for you. Exercise and Nutrition go hand in hand. You can exercise all you want but if you aren’t eating for optimal health, forget about it. Make it a goal to move your body at least 30 minutes everyday. This is especially true when starting or going through fertility treatment because exercise is an amazing way to destress and relieve your body of anxiety and worry. The road ahead may be a rocky one filled with unknown questions, cycles of treatment, doctor’s visits and what if questions. So as you embark on your journey, make sure you keep your body and mindset in a good place. 

    Another way to do that is with therapy. Therapy is a fabulous tool that many turn to when unsure of what lies ahead. Finding the right therapist, also provides guidance, strength and a way to express your emotions- yet another way to keep your mind healthy. Bottling up your emotions or not talking about your experience can only lead to more negativity. Give yourself the chance to heal and move forward with the right resources and strategies. 

    Be Aware and Understand Your Options

    Fertility treatment and cycles never guarantee a pregnancy, they are options depending on your personal situation. It’s important to always keep that in mind but being hopeful and positive of course never hurt either. But as you age, the chances of achieving pregnancy do decline. However the more you know about your current health, condition and options- the better. Understanding what is involved in fertility cycles and treatment is important. Oftentimes patients turn to therapy as a way to express their concerns, learn tools to strategize coping and find comfort. 

    Being forty and deciding to proceed with a fertility journey is a decision only you can make. Knowing the health of your eggs and the chances of conception based on your age are also important factors to consider before and during treatment. At certain ages, especially those in their forties, your doctor may suggest IVF right off the bat instead of going through cycles of IUI, or intrauterine insemination, a procedure that increases the chance of pregnancy by placing specially prepared sperm directly into your uterus. Other options you and your doctor may discuss down the road could include- egg or sperm donation or surrogacy. Again these are dependent on your egg health and also the health of (if you have a partner) the sperm. 

    The fact of the matter is, there are options. And it’s important you understand all of them. It’s uncharted territory that with a little guidance and support you’ll come to find won’t be as difficult to navigate. And by leaning on those around you, a therapist who understands and can guide you as well as being open and honest with your doctor are all suggestions to help make this path a bit easier to take on.

    Lessons Learned

    If you’re still reading, that’s because you’re seeking guidance and a little extra support with your decision to start fertility treatment after you’ve reached that 40 year milestone. Good for you. There are many options, tips and ways to find comfort and guidance for your journey. Now that you’ve decided to venture forward, It’s important not to waste any more time. Schedule your appointments and do some research. Think about any underlying condition you may have, take care of your body with proper sleep and nourishment and most of all, find tools and strategies that will keep you poised, calm and in a healthy place- body and mind. Other tips such as meditation, acupuncture and sessions with a therapist are all ways you can travel this path with confidence. 

    Of all the lessons learned in life, make this be one you follow and never forget. You never have to feel alone or lost during this time in your life. It’s a decision you made for a reason, never forget that reason. Stay strong on your path and yes, even when things get a little bit rocky remember who you are. You aren’t defined by infertility or whether or not you have a child. You’re who you are based on your decisions, personality, passions and talents. Whatever comes along the way, well that’s just icing on your 40 plus birthday cake.