Advanced age plays an important role in a woman’s ability to become pregnant and carry a pregnancy to term. From ages 30 to 35, there is a gradual decline in a woman’s ability to become pregnant; after age 40, there is a sharp decline in conception. Women are less likely to ovulate regularly as they age. In addition, they are more likely to have medical problems that can cause infertility, such as endometriosis.
However, the most important reason relates to the condition and decreasing number of the woman’s eggs. As the eggs age, they become more resistant to fertilization, resulting in lower pregnancy rates. More of the eggs also tend to have chromosomal abnormalities, making miscarriage more likely.The chance of chromosomal abnormalities, such as those that cause Down syndrome, increase with age. Even the success of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other similar procedures decreases with advancing age. In recent paper “Improvements in IVF in women of advanced age” published in “Journal of Endocrinology”, it concluded that the concentration on methods of embryo selection in older women not only fail to improve IVF outcomes, but actually, negatively affect live birth chances. The paper calls for more research shall be redirected into helping early follicle maturation. As the matter of fact, Chinese medicine has already been working in such a direction since a long ago. It is called menstrual regulation. With the aging or other pathological infertility conditions, this medicine including acupuncture and herbs works to improve the fertility functional efficiency and provision of nutrition supplement for small growing follicle stages and selection/dominance stage. Recent research inside China has proved that after couple months of treatments, more women including advanced age can have their menstruation cycle improved and become fertile naturally with/out IVF assistance.
How can acupuncture and Chinese medicine help advanced age fertility conditions?
1) Optimize the quality of the remaining eggs.
2) Go into detail about finding what is right for each patient in terms of diet, exercise and lifestyle choices.
3) A commitment to acupuncture one to two times per week is necessary until pregnancy is confirmed.
4) Chinese herbal medicine is often necessary in these cases and this treatment can take six to twelve months
5) Support the pregnancy and manage symptoms of diabetes, hypertension or other conditions as they arise
As Dr. Pentland reminds us in Being Fertile “while it may be easier to get pregnant in your twenties, as long as a woman is still menstruating there is a potential to bear children”. The primary goal of work here is to optimize the quality of the remaining eggs, improve ovarian and uterine environment and nourish reproductive essence. By addressing these aspects of reproductive health we can optimize chances of a healthy pregnancy. Also we work with women to overcome and manage symptoms that may arise during pregnancy, to ensure a healthy baby and the most comfortable and healthiest experience possible for the mother.