It Is Never Too Late To Start A Family
In this day and age, couples deciding to start a family of their own are now much later compared to the previous generations.
In Malaysia, the average age of women becoming a mother rose to 28 years old in 2020, a 0.1 years increase from 2019. Besides that, studies have found that the mean age of women in European countries is 29.9 years in 2019, and 30 years in 2020.
Due to the structural change of society, the reason for families to start a family with children much later could be due to some focusing on career and some could find the cost and standard of living is too high to start a family, especially in Malaysia.
The difficulty of trying to conceive at age 30 and above can be a little complicated as the reproductive organs will start to slow down for both men and women. Although it may be difficult to conceive at an older age, it does not mean that it can’t happen as many ‘older’ couples have managed to sail through a healthy conceiving journey. So, if you and your partner are planning on a late pregnancy we have some tips on trying to conceive for older couples.
Lead a healthy lifestyle
Although it is always a priority to take care of your health no matter if you are young or old. It is now more important than ever to lead a healthy lifestyle when you are older, especially if you are trying to conceive.
One of the tips to increase your chances of conceiving when you are older is to have a healthy diet and exercise. Why? That is because eating healthy will help to boost your fertility and exercising will increase oxygen intake to the reproductive system and to various parts of the body. Health experts suggest that at least thirty minutes of cardiovascular workout a day to maintain a healthy weight as it is critical to have your body to be in the best form possible to conceive.
Some of the things on why older couples are finding it difficult to conceive is due to:
Men: Low sperm count and Erectile dysfunction
Women: Decline in fertility due to lower egg count, less frequent ovulation and poorer egg quality
One of the ways to help men with erectile dysfunction and low sperm count is by consuming ‘Tongkat Ali’. To note, some research suggests that Tongkat Ali might not work for some men with erectile dysfunction. But it can help to boost low testosterone and sperm count according to Ong Boon Kean, senior researcher at Forest Research Institute of Malaysia.
As for women, they can try consuming natural herbs like Shatavari (Asparagus) as tonic can help to increase fertility and vitality. This particular herb is rich in phytoestrogens, a natural compound that has the same chemical structure as estrogen, which can help a lot in the reproductive cycle. Additionally, it can also reduce stress, increase lactation, and beneficial for any menopausal symptoms.
Use Ovulation Kit
Getting pregnant will be much harder compared to when you are in your 20s. So, having patience is vital. Get yourself an ovulation kit to find out your fertility window by tracking the cycles of your ovulation period.
Since now that is harder to conceive as you are older, having sexual intercourse during the ovulation period can increase the chance of conceiving as it is the process of a mature egg being released from the ovary, and the chances of getting pregnant are high during that period.
Have sexual intercourse regularly
One thing that is for sure is that it is encouraged to also have sex regularly to increase the chances of conceiving a baby. On contrary to the points mentioned above, it is recommended to have sex regularly closed to ovulation period as it is part of the golden time to conceive. If this method is recommended for young couples, why should it not be recommended for older couples? Hence, do as much as you can or do it close to the ovulation period.
Control stress level
Another tip to boost fertility for older women is to control the stress level. Stress can impact conceiving indirectly and directly. The indirect cause of stress where the person experiences interrupted sleep, weight gain and unhealthy diets.
Besides that, studies have shown that stress can affect the reproductive system by stopping activity of the hypothalamic, pituitary and gonadal axis. Thus, this interrupts the brain and ovaries and it will cause delays or irregular or missed and absent periods.
Studies have also shown that women who have high levels of alpha-amylase in their saliva, an enzyme to measure stress, took longer to conceive compared to those with lower alpha-amylase levels.
Take Prenatal Vitamins
Last but not least, take prenatal vitamins. For older women, the risk of giving birth to a baby with birth defects is high. So, it is encouraged to start taking prenatal vitamins as it can help to prevent birth defects when pregnant. Hence, it is important to get the right nutrients when trying to conceive. If you are unsure what kind of vitamins and supplements to take, it is best to visit the doctor to ask for their professional advice.
Although getting pregnant when you are older may not be easy, it is certainly durable. What is important is that you and your partner feel ready to have a family of your own whenever you choose to start trying.
Although growing older is inevitable, you can build a healthy lifestyle that will help you greatly with your health like exercising and quitting unhealthy habits like drinking and smoking.
Lastly, if you have tried all the tips that have been given and you are still not able to conceive after many tries, then it is better to go seek help from a fertility specialist or your GP. There is an option to conceive with medical aid with the help of intrauterine insemination (IUI) and (In-vitro fertilization) IVF. However, one thing to note is that even with medical aid, it does not guarantee conceiving a baby as age will still be a factor such as egg and sperm count.