For women over the age of 35, trying to conceive naturally can be difficult. According to studies, the average 30-year-old has a 20% chance of healthy conception without medical intervention; that number drops drastically to 5% for those over the age of 40. Those stats can be even more alarming for Black birthing people.
Fertility expert, Dr. Ruth O. Arumala spends much of her time and career helping women in similar predicaments. As co-chief medical officer at digital brand, Zuri Fertility, Arumala equips users with access to resources tailored to each patient, including education, telehealth, at-home testing, prescriptions and care coordination.
"The definition of infertility is predicated on the age of the woman," Dr. Ruth Arumala shares. "If a woman is less than 35 years old and unable to successfully conceive with regular intercourse for one year, they are diagnosed clinically with infertility. Between the ages of 35 to 40, we diagnose if there is no conception within 6 months. Over 40, all women are considered infertile clinically and directed to care immediately."
As Naomi Campbell recently reminded us, it's never too late to be a mom—if that's what you seek. Below, Dr. Arumala shares a few expert tips for healthy conception over age 35.
Improve Nutrition: There are fertility diets and fads out there that may or may not be adequate. There are, however, simple concepts that are adoptable. These include increasing vegetables and fruits to consist of 70 percent of your diet, reducing processed foods including fast foods, and increasing water intake.
Mitigate Weight: Fat tissue also known as adipose tissue is hormonally active.
"Losing fat should be the goal of fertility workout plans rather than overall weight loss," the fertility expert says. "For women with Polycystic ovarian syndrome and obesity-related inability to ovulate, weight and fat loss is necessary, as this can result in spontaneous ovulation."
Manage Stress: Stress has been identified but not quantifiable as a risk factor for infertility. The fertility journey is stress inducing for most individuals and couples at baseline. With this in mind, a stress reduction plan is advisable for each individual and couple during their fertility journey. In addition, couples therapy is recommended as this can affect the dynamics of the couple.
Consider Supplements: While nutrition is very important in this journey, micronutrient deficiencies can affect reproductive health and fertility outcomes. A number of brands have bundles which offers pre- and post-natal medicinal supplements.
"Ultimately, supplementation has been shown to increase conception rates," Dr. Arumala explains. "A few vitamins and minerals you should supplement in your diet to improve egg quality and maturation, immune function, ovulation and energy are: vitamin D, myo-inositol & D-chiro inositol, DHA and Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)."
Seek Help: The fertility journey can be confusing without help. Understanding where to begin can prove challenging. Fortunately, getting guidance can be at your fingertips with many of the apps on the market today, including Zuri Fertility. They can simplify the process, so you can get to your goal of a healthy baby efficiently.