If you are trying to conceive and you’re over 35, you’re certainly not alone. The number of women having their first baby at age 35 or older rose 23% from 2000 to 2014 and is likely even higher today. Although many women are delaying pregnancy until well into their 30s and early 40s, it is important to understand how age impacts your fertility. In this article, we will explain how age can affect your fertility and outline the top 5 supplements for fertility after 35.
Your Fertility After 35
This may come as a shock, but in the reproductive world women age 35 and over are considered to be of “advanced maternal age.”
Even though you may not feel any different, once you hit your mid-to-late thirties, the quantity, and quality of your eggs decline. This means that it may take longer for you to get pregnant. It also means your risk of miscarriage and other pregnancy complications increases. A decline in egg quality increases the chance of chromosomal abnormalities, which can result in miscarriage or genetic disorders such as Down Syndrome, trisomy 18, and others.
The good news is many women of advanced maternal age can conceive and deliver healthy babies. Practicing a healthy diet and lifestyle for fertility is key. There are also specific nutrients to consider that may improve egg quality and potentially improve your chances.
1. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is important for fertility. Research shows that women trying to conceive naturally who have a higher vitamin D level have a better chance of getting pregnant. Several studies have linked a normal vitamin D level (>30 ng/mL) with higher pregnancy rates.
It is important to take vitamin D while you are trying to conceive and continue once you are pregnant.
2. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
CoQ10is a naturally occurring antioxidant produced in the body, and it plays a crucial role in energy production inside our cells’ mitochondria. A woman’s oocytes (egg cells) contain more mitochondria than any other cell in the body and therefore require a lot of CoQ10.
As we age, our levels of CoQ10 naturally decrease. This may contribute to the fact that an older woman’s eggs are less efficient at producing energy. This can lead to poorer fertilization.
CoQ10 can increase cellular energy production, which may support healthy egg quality and fertility in older women.
Melatonin is an antioxidant and natural hormone made by the pineal gland. It regulates circadian rhythm, our body’s ‘built-in’ sleep/wake cycle. Many people take melatonin to help them sleep better at night.
Melatonin may also play a role in improving fertility. Higher melatonin levels in the ovary may support healthy egg quality.
4. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)
Your adrenal glands produce the natural hormone, DHEA. Once produced, your body then converts DHEA to either
DHEA may benefit fertility by supporting healthy ovarian function in women. The way DHEA works to support ovarian health isn’t completely understood. Its mechanism may be due to its androgenic effects.
DHEA should be taken only with a doctor’s recommendation. Ask your healthcare team if DHEA may be beneficial for you.
Inositols are B-vitamin like nutrients that are found in some foods and are also made in the body. These nutrients function as secondary messengers in insulin signaling. They help our cells use insulin better, thus supporting healthy blood sugar levels and overall fertility.
It is important to understand the impact of age on your fertility. Making healthy diet and lifestyle choices, and taking certain nutrients, can improve your chances for success.