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I was recently asked to comment on this question; could a woman in her 40’s potentially be more fertile than a woman in her 30’s? Quite possibly, a question on women’s lips as they are forever reminded that the fertility clock is ticking. Answering the question isn’t necessarily an easy task, simply because it lies on a case by case scenario, not something that we can necessarily analyse on a broad scale. For many women, hearing this may not exactly be great news when they discover this after the fact, but the truth remains, we can influence our body’s in the right direction no matter what, at any age or stage and for many this can bring about better health, something we can never lose out on having.
There is no solid collective answer and whilst we know that our fertility declines as we age, what that general fact doesn’t take into consideration is genetics, nutrition, lifestyle, environment, pollutant exposure, detoxification ability, how well your thyroid works, adrenals, gut as well as emotional wellbeing. We must profile all of this to truly get a solid answer. I am however most confident when I say, a woman in her 30’s who is genetically predisposed to say endometriosis, who drinks, smokes, doesn’t sleep well and doesn’t care about her nutrition is far more likely to experience pronounced symptoms (which affect fertility) as opposed to the same version of herself in her 40’s who has cared for her body and nurtured it as a means to steer her body to health from an earlier age. These women however are not actually comparable when we consider who is more fertile as age becomes a factor. The true answer – who knows?
After being challenged on this topic, I set about asking a few colleagues their thoughts, drawing upon some of the best experts in the field including Dr Andrew Orr, and my two friends behind the upcoming Fertility Masterclass, Aimee Raupp & Marc Sklar. We all agreed. A women in her 40’s could indeed be more fertile than a women in her 30’s. In fact, Aimee is testament to that, helping many women in their forties achieve pregnancy after her very own experience in successfully conceiving her first child at age 40.
But rather than argue the fact of who is more fertile, let’s look at 5 reasons why there is a good chance that a woman in her 40’s could potentially be more fertile. Because I’d rather focus on the good rather than the bad.
- We may not be born with all of our eggs. A recent study suggested something I have forever believed, that we may not be born with all of our eggs. I concluded many years ago after viewing hundreds of women’s AMH (Anti-Mallerian Hormone) test results that this may in fact be a possibility. AMH, if you are unfamiliar basically provides information to calculate your ovarian reserve or your potential to conceive based on the number of eggs you’ve got remaining in the ‘kitty.’ I started to question this when I saw woman’s results improve dramatically after following my protocol (found in my book Well & Good). The proof for me was in the pudding. I concluded that hundreds, if not thousands of tests can’t be wrong – that is you can’t go from a low egg count, to a high egg count if that result could change over 3 months. I’m not a scientist. It’s purely anecdotal, but equally I have to ask how many scientists are hands on natural fertility specialists. Not too many. I sure as heck don’t need to be to a scientist to figure that one out.
- You can improve your AMH. In the same vein as above, I’ve seen women’s AMH go from almost nothing to a healthy range just by simple changes to diet and lifestyle in as little as three menstrual cycles. Your body can only handle so much. It means that if a woman in her 30’s isn’t looking after herself, generally we can also see this reflected in her AMH test results. I have seen plenty of healthy AMH results in older women.
- She’s learnt to use stress as her superpower. Often in our 30’s we are in the height of our career, we are overextended to get ahead and are still navigating how we can use stress to take us where we want to go. Stress begins to take its toll and eventually our hormones can be taken off line. But if we tune into stress and allow it to do what it’s designed to do, it can be a very different situation and outcome. Stress is designed to take us toward an outcome with an end point, not something of an ongoing state which it has become for so many. Need to nurture stress as your superpower? Click here for my Debunking Stress lowdown.
- She’s figured out how her body works. A work in progress no doubt but we are always learning about ourselves. When we have the right information and the right clues it can be a slip stream towards better health and from better health comes better fertility.
- She quit on the self hate. My good friend Melissa Ambrosini is one on the front forces in helping women move towards loving themselves completely and freeing ourselves from the torture of the unkind mind chatter. She says our ‘mean girl’ can be a voice louder than ever that continues to tell us on repeat we’re not good enough, pretty enough, successful enough, smart enough, thin enough, rich enough, healthy enough or *insert your own.* For many women, discovering this as we get a little more life perspective can help take us to where we want to go, not where we don’t. Our emotions aren’t separate from our physical being – they impact the body right down to a cellular level, therefore we want to practice good mind hygiene, and often.
All this said, please don’t be fooled by what you see in the media. Many women are having babies well into their 50’s and whilst it is absolutely incredible what the human body can do, almost all of these women are cases where these embryo’s or at least the eggs, aren’t their own. This can set many women up with the wrong impression when it comes to fertility. There are very few successful cases of women using assisted conception that conceive with their own eggs in the mid to late 40’s. In fact, some may suggest you actually have a better chance of conceiving naturally, that is if you aren’t open to using donor eggs. Bottom line continues to remain, nobody really knows – we’re all potentially fertile until your body decides it’s done.
Whilst there is no argument in any camp that fertility declines as we get older, there is no actual way of finding concrete evidence of who could be more fertile. Bottom line, take care of your body and you will be rewarded – baby or not. You can only ever benefit from this.
If you’re keen to learn more about your fertility, don’t forget the upcoming Integrative Fertility Masterclass is just days away! This one day FREE event with six international experts (I’m one!) is going to give you the tools to have you take back control of your health and fertility no matter where you are in your baby making quest. We’re here to help, all from the comfort of your couch! To learn more or register go on and head here.