Pregnancy & Fertility After 40
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I am 40.5 and was recently tested with high FSH. I have
secondary infertility. I am seeing a RE(Susan Willman),
OB(Kurt Wharton) and an acupuncturist. My husband also has
sperm issues. We are considering an unmedicated IUI for the
first cycle since I like to give acupuncture and herbs a try
for maybe 1 to 3 cyles. Our insurance does not cover any
infertility treatments. IUI at Dr.Wharton is around $300 and
IUI at Dr.Willman is around $900. IVF is not an option for
us due to finances and my high FSH. A couple of questions:
*If I don't go on meds, does it matter who does the IUI?
*Or should I be more aggressive and go on meds right away?
Dr. Willman is okay with waiting on meds.
Hi; I was in a very similar place to you 5 years ago. Even
some of the same Drs. (you have a great team!). A few quick
thoughts: Is the IUI primarily to address the sperm issue?
Or are there concerns of the mucus not being optimal (I
think they say hostile?). If not, then I'd go for medicated.
We did a few medicated cycles with IUI with the thinking
being that it just uppped the odds (i.e. get 15 shots at
fertilizing an egg in 3 months). Just remember, you may not
respond well to the meds as you have high FSH. Also, is your
husband getting acupuncture and herbs? If not, he should, my
husband ended up with super sperm after being on the eastern
medicine for 6 months.I'd ask Dr. Willman what benefit there
would be in doing an IUI with her, she should be able to
tell you. If it's medicated, you'll need to go with her I
suspect. Also, in my experience Dr. Willman was right on in
her recommendations, even though it was something that took
me a few years to accept. If you want to ask me more
questions, feel free to ask the moderator for my contact
info. Good Luck! anon
I did IVF with Dr Willman and had success (after 3
unsuccessful medicated IUIs at Kaiser). I only have
positive things to say about the office. However, for a
simple non-medicated IUI, it seems like your OB would be
fine too, as long as they're willing to monitor you in your
cycle to insure optimal timing of the IUI. (I'm not sure
that my OB' office would be set up for very careful
monitoring). For your other question, about whether to jump
straight to the medicated route, personally that would be
what I would do. If you're 40.5 and have high FSH you're at
a delicate stage. Lots of women do have success at this
age, but others don't and things can start to change really
really quickly after 40 (or for some of us, before). A few
months spent on herbs (if unsuccessful) might not make a
difference. But it might make a huge difference if after
that your FSH starts to skyrocket. Based on what I've seen
in a lot of my friends who have gone through fertility
issues, it really pays to be as aggressive as you're
comfortable being at this age. You can do acupuncture too--
I did it with my IVF. But personally, I would do both or
just go straight to the meds. (And if you think at all that
you'd pay out for the IVF afterall if all this doesn't work,
then I'd go straight to that, personally. I wish we hadn't
wasted all that time and money on IUIs, especially since IVF
has such higher success rates and has so much more control
with numbers of multiples, etc. But I know that it's just
completely out of the cost possibilities for many)
Think about how much you want a baby, how much you can afford, then go ahead
for the IUI's with meds. If you are having fertility issues, a regular IUI is
not going to cure your problems. However, if both place seem equally
professional, I would go with the cheaper one. Save the $ for the meds.
I think you need to see a good fertility specialist to help you make
decisions that are really important to your health. All of us are different
and there can be a variety of factors affecting infertility. The drugs and
techniques required are different for different people. I saw Dr. Rosen at
UCSF for my infertility problems and we were very successful (I am now going
through a very healthy pregnancy after trying for 2 years). I was lucky and
IUI did the trick, but I wouldn't expect my treatments to be applicable to
others. Make sure you find someone who you trust and is really competent to
help you work through the process. Kate
Dr. Wharton is fabulous and I went with him after I got pregnant. He is an
EXCELLENT OB. I was in your similar situation a couple of years ago and went to
RSC with no luck after 3 unsuccessful IUI's. I ended up by getting pregnant
with acupuncture from Christina Martin (Dr. Hinckley from RSC refers to her a
lot)in Berkeley and a naturopath Dr. Gloria Jackson in San Francisco. After age
40, I would still recommend the meds but try alternative as well. It took me 10
years to get pregnant and I attribute it to clearing my body of the toxic build
up over the years. Much Luck to you. Anon
Hi - I finally realized I want to have a baby at age of 42. As I was
always healthy and all my tests, and my husband's, were good we took
time trying to get pregnant naturally. Finally, last December we
started seeing Dr Susan Willman at RSC in Orinda. We had a couple of
IUIs, did Clomid challange once and concluded it was not of great help
for me. I kept on believing it would happen and finally my age hit me
as i turned 44 in June. I tried Femara last cycle and it didn't work
so I finally asked for IVF to learn that they would not do it for me
since I was too old. I have HealthNet and am now wondering if there is
any other place that may consider me for IVF. Some earlier posts talk
about UCSF being more accommodating? Any advice on how to get accepted
for IVF somewhere would be greatly appreciated. I still believe I can
get pregnant. Also, I saw Dr Angela Wu, acupuncturist, for 6 months- I
enjoyed the treatments but found her practice too industrialized w/o
attention to individual. Everyone was very nice and kind at her place
though. Anyhow, thanks in advance for any advice you might have!
Are you open to egg donation? I used IVF with egg donation to
get pregnant at age 44. I recommend Dr. Louis Weckstein of the
Reproductive Science Center in San Ramon.
I know intimately the struggle -- emotionally, physically and financially -- of
infertility. I am sorry that you are facing this challenge.
I think, at 44 years of age, you aren't likely to find a lot of endocrinologists
going to tell you that you have good odds of getting pregnant with your own
regardless of the site. I know that there are people in the public eye who give
at 45 but the odds that they are using their own eggs are really really slim.
want to carry a pregnancy, I would suggest you look into egg donation. If you
that you want to parent a child and you are pretty neutral about carrying a
pregnancy then I would suggest looking into adoption.
Best wishes, Rachel
The best advice I can give you is to quickly find an IVF center
that will work with you even if your insurance won't cover any
of it and/or to be open to consider an egg donor or adoption.
I work in the field and I experienced difficultly conceiving
myself. In my experience, the women in their mid-40s who
concieve without IVF are very fertile (often with multiple
children or prior pregnancies) and get pregnant quickly. The
harsh reality is many women over 42 (and many who are younger)
are unable to conceive without donor eggs. I've spoken to
quite a few women 45+ who were not able to concieve and were
convinced that they would conceive if the kept trying and it
breaks my heart. Women need to know that most women are not
able to conceive in their 40s, even with medical technologies,
this is not your (or their) fault. Declining fertility is a
natural part of the aging process that actually begins in our
20s. 40 may feel like the new 30 but out bodies tell us
otherwise. I am so sorry that I don't have more hopeful advice
for you. I do hope that others will read this and use this
information in their family planning.
feeling your pain
This is going to be hard to hear but consider donor eggs. You
get to be pregnant/breast feed/have a child -- just not your
genetic material. If you have the cash to do a round of IVF with
your eggs, and then one with donor eggs then go for it. But if
not, seriously, just go to donor eggs. Your odds are really
awful. Actually how awful is even hard to say since its so rare
that a woman at 44 gets pregnant on her own (without some form
of ART). We had serious fertility issues but hit the jackpot and
got a baby. However, donor eggs were our next step - and because
of that I know a few moms who have gone down that path and are
*thrilled* with the results. With donor eggs its simply a matter
of time (assuming all else is well) -some places odds higher
than 70% of a live birth.
At our age, the hormone levels can change fairly quickly. You say you were
out 2 yrs ago... things may be different now. I am 45 and pregnant. My hormone
levels were not good for getting pregnant based on a saliva test I had done this
spring through my acupuncturist. I was experiencing pretty intense
symptoms. But I wanted a baby. My acupuncturist used the saliva test results
addition to her knowledge about me in other regards) to develop a supplements,
herbs, diet, lifestyle regimen. The goal was to even out the hormone situation
get the perimenopause to ease up... things certainly evened out and I got
I highly recommend her. Her name is Abigail Surasky, she is in Berkeley and
is 845-8017. In your situation, I would say she is definitely worth a shot.
luck to you!
I'm sorry, but from my experience, it is rare to see a 44 yo give
birth to a baby conceived using her own eggs. The miscarriage
rate is very high as well. I think you need to go forward in your
journey knowing that and being prepared to deal with what comes
next. If I were you I'd research egg donation and/or adoption.
Personally, I think your best odds of getting pregnant at 44 do
not lie in IVF. After almost three years of infertility
treatment, starting at 40, that included Clomid, IUIs, and IVFs
and resulted only in very early miscarriages, I gave up and began
getting in shape for myself. I wanted to have some reserves,
physical, emotional and financial, to prepare for egg donation or
adoption. I cut out sugar completely, started weight-training
and bicycling again, and dropped 30 lbs. And started having more
frequent and passion-driven sex rather than ''the kit says I'm
ovulating so let's do it'' sex. Unexpectedly (I was not even
taking folic acid, I had given up so completely), I conceived at
43, and delivered my first and only child when I was two weeks
shy of my 44th birthday.
Another thing that I found very helpful was to join RESOLVE,
which is a national organization helping people deal with
infertility. My husband and I took part in a couples group led
by a therapist who had also experienced infertility. It was
enormously helpful and cathartic to be able to talk with others
who were going through the same thing.
Two words you probably don't want to hear: donor eggs. That's
how everyone over age 43 gets pregnant. At your age your chance
of getting pregnant from an IVF cycle with your own eggs
(costing approximately $12-14,000) is about 1%. Whereas your
chance with donor eggs is more like 50%. You can look up the
exact statistics on the CDC's website.
-sorry to be the bearer of bad news
You may be an exception, but it is harder to have kids with age.
I was still able to get pregnant at 44 (and again at 48!) but
quickly miscarried, because egg quality deteriorates with age and
the chances for miscarriage are high. You may seriously want to
think about donor eggs if you are in otherwise good health as IVF
is expensive and you want to stack the odds in favor of a
successful pregnancy. I chose that path. We continue to be
amazed at the twins I had at 46--they are so utterly lovely.
44 and just getting going...I'd seriously consider adoption
(for SO MANY reasons)
This from someone who was 38 the first time and 40 years old the
2nd time, after years of infertility treatments
I'm struck by your email. I had my first and only child at 48.
I am now 50, he is 2. After 4 attempts at IVF, between 40 and
44, I realized at 48 that I just had to do this and would not
give up until I did. By the time you are 43, a responsible IVF
center will not use your eggs, they are simply too old. The
doctors are being kind to you, trying to avoid the heartache of
yet another failed attempt. With support from a few close
friends, I decided to use donor eggs, and my husband agreed.
He was 53 then, and he had a major health issue strike him at
54. I was on my last attempt with the donor eggs, and knew if
I didn't do it then, no clinic would, because 50 is the age
they simply won't. I hope you'll consider donor eggs if you
want a child so badly. Although I wanted my 'own' child, I
love this little boy so much it hurts. I thank god every day I
have him to come home to, and my husband's condition has not
prevented him from loving our son very much. Consider all your
options before you give up. You are not 'too old' unless you
insist on using your own eggs. I was sick and miserable the
entire pregnancy, just like all those other women I'd read
about. But I got pregnant and it was worth everything.
Anon in Oakland Hills
I have a 47 yr old friend who's pregnant with twins, and another
friend who gave birth at 42 and 46. They both used the IVF clinic
in Denver, CO. It's expensive, and both women used donor eggs,
but if you have the money and the determination, I believe that
clinic has the best IVF success rates in the country.
At 44 there is only one place I'd recommend and that is CCRM -
Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine. When I went a few
years ago they had the best success rates by far for the over 40.
We thought about trying in the bayarea first but in the end just
decided to start with the best and we successful (now have a 4
year old). The best place to get info is ivfconnections.org -
look at their bulletin boards - they have boards for older women,
bayarea women, ccrm women etc
While I haven't used this organization for the help they say they may provide, I
feel very well-informed by their website. It really encouraged me that I COULD get
pregnant ''on my own'' at the age of 45 (when I say ''on my own'' the truth is I
acupuncture... but no IVF, no western interventions, no donor eggs). I urge you to
read it. It is very interesting.
I would also recommend Colorado Center for Reproductive
Medicine. I was 38 and had several unsuccessful cycles here in
the East Bay before we wised up and went to CO. Wish we had
gone to CCRM from the start. Our only cycle with them was
successful(with overall much better results re: embryo quality
and number), and we now have a beautiful 5 month old daughter.
You can also schedule a phone consultation, where they will
review your medical information and give you an evaluation of
your chances. Good luck.
big fan of CCRM
I would like to learn from other women who may have had a
similar experience. I had an easy pregnancy at age 37 with my
first child. I'm now 40, and I've suffered three miscarriages
in the last eight months; all pregnancies ended at about seven
weeks. The most recent miscarriage was analyzed and the doctor
found a chromosomal problem with the fetus. It's possible that
the other two pregnancies ended for the same reason, but we
don't know definitively. I am trying to decide what to do. I am
willing to risk the emotional and physical toll of further
miscarriages if I end up with a healthy pregnancy, but my
doctor didn't have any information about the odds of this
happening given my history. So I'm feeling a little lost. Has
anyone else gone through something similar, and learned what
the chances are for a healthy pregnancy after multiple
miscarriages at this age? Are there such statistics? Is there
anything I can do? The doctor mentioned donor eggs, and IVF,
but I'd like to learn more about my chances before going down
that route. Many thanks for any advice.
I am assuming since you've had three miscarriages that your OB
is starting to do a workup on you (mine wanted me, at age 39,
to wait until I'd had three, but I insisted on starting after
the second miscarriage--it's ridiculous to wait when you are
well into ''advanced maternal age''). What I started with was
bloodwork, on Day 3 of my cycle, checking estradiol, FSH and
prolactin. It turned out they were all normal, and as it
happened I got pregnant that cycle anyway, and am now in my
21st week. I had two normal pregnancies at ages 33 and 35,
then two miscarriages at 38. So I guess what I'm saying is
that it's very possible for you at age 40 to get pregnant very
soon, but also, you shouldn't wait to find out if there is an
easily-fixable problem. Tell your OB you want to start the
Pregnant at 39
I'm so sorry for your losses -- I had 2 miscarriages in 6 months
last year, and it was a horrible horrible experience.
I did a lot of reading to try to understand what could be
happening, and from what I found, the odds are actually in your
favor for a successful pregnancy; I think they're even better
because you have had a child. I found Jon Cohen's book ''Coming
to Term'' (you can get it off of Amazon)to be really informative,
a nice combo of scientific information with personal stories. He
is a science writer whose wife had 4 miscarriages in a row before
having their 2nd child, so he started researching and ended up
writing this book. If I remember right, statistically close to
70% of women who have had 3 (may even be 4) miscarriages will
eventually carry to term.
You wrote in your intro to joining about your multiple
pregnancy losses. I feel for you and have also experienced late
pregnancy loss. I found help from a therapist called Kim Kluger-
Bell (510) 524 1475 on Solano Ave, with the anxiety I
experienced when pregnant again after loss. And I also found a
dear OB/GYN in the form of Dr. Bill Isenberg, a kind and senior
male OB, who took me as a high-risk patient, even though he's
not a perinatologist, and kept me from going insane and being
swallowed up when pregnancy becomes ''medicalized'' by NOT
demanding too many tests...
I have a lovely son that he delivered at 38 weeks via planned C-
section and the support I needed from the therapist and the
physician were both key for me. I can only imagine that coming
new to this area will be challenging as well as a ''fresh
start'' for you. Making connections to folks who can support
you will help in your dreams of starting a family. Good luck
and feel free to contact me.
Wow, I am so sorry for what you are going through. I could have
been your post three years ago. Unfortunately there is no way of
knowing how things will work out so it is a very personal choice.
It may be that 50% of your eggs still good and you have had bad
luck or you may be really scrapping the bottom of the egg barrel
-who knows. Hopefully your next pregnancy will be healthy. I
eventually stopped getting pregnant at all with my own eggs after
multiple miscarriages and ended up having success with donor egg
and couldn't be happier but others I am friends with were able to
catch a golden egg and have a healthy pregnancy using their own
eggs after multiple miscarriages. The only down side is my kids
are almost 6 years apart. As long as I was still able to get
pregnant I was game to keep trying with the hopes that the next
one would stick.
The good news is that you are getting pregnant pretty easily and
if you can take the emotional roller coaster you might have a
good chance of a successful pregnancy. The other good news is
that you can carry a pregnancy successfully and if you do decide
at some point to go the Donor route you have a very good chance
of success (it's comforting to know that your last chance plan
has a high rate of success).
I can share some info I've learned along the way. If you can
afford it I'd go consult with an RE as soon as possible. Once you
get into your 40s time is very important. They may run some more
tests (antral follicle count and FSH) and give you a better sense
of statistics. Try to find someone who works with older woman -
some clinics are very concerned with there statistics which are
all posted on the CDC and may push you towards donor egg before
you feel ready. There are a few things that some research argues
helps embryo quality - in no particular order. 1. lots of
antioxidants, 2. cutting out coffee and alcohol and recreational
drugs (these hurts quality of the egg evidently) 3. acupuncture
with someone who specializes in fertility. Since the egg is
recruited 3 months before ovulation all these things are long
term. If money is no issue you may want to try IVF with your own
eggs or even a medicated IUI since it will increase your chances
and may give you some answers.
Good luck! It's a really hard decision and unfortunately there
are no easy answers.
Have you had a hormone panel run? Have you gotten your thyroid
checked? The ideal tsh (thyroid stimulating hormone) level for
conception is 1-2.
I would not say that you'd need to look into donor eggs or IVF
just yet. Try acupuncture and chinese medicine along with a
medical work-up with your OB.
40 is still relatively young
I'm so sorry to hear about your miscarriages. How difficult.
Three in eight months sounds very trying. Does your body need a
rest? I had success carrying a baby to term after two
miscarriages with the help of acupuncture. It's very
effective, and may give your body some support.
I wish you the best
Many of these questions have come up in the past, and maybe the
answers have been (or will be) posted. Nobody can say what would
work for you personally, but I'd at least see a fertility
specialist and get the standard workup, to figure out if there
are easily-solvable problems. The ones that spring to mind
readily are STDs like ureaplasma (which may or may not cause
miscarriages), luteal phase defect (usually treatable with
progesterone suppositories), and who-knows easy things to deal
with such as pre-natal vitamins (can't hurt, may help), taking
baby aspirin for the first trimester (i.e. before the fetus has
its own placenta). And more difficult though
sometimes-correctable issues like polyps and fibroids,
endometriosis low FSH levels, etc. I'd get more serious about
those things if I were you, prior to going the ''technical''
routes. And do NOT stick w/ an OB/GYN who thinks he can ''solve''
these problems. I had probably 4 or 5 (or more? I've blocked it
from my mind now) miscarriages (some of them early, early, so
that I wouldn't have known I was pregnant) from 40-41 yrs of age.
Some of it's just age related (sorry, it's depressing, but not
hopeless). I had a very bad experience w/ one doctor (Streitfeld)
who didn't seem to know his own limitations, and didn't even know
a thing about all the issues I'd dug up doing my own research. I
was much more comfortable with a fertility specialist (Streitfeld
used to call himself one, but he's not. He's an OB/GYN who will
prescribe Clomid.) And the good news is this: you've had a baby
before. Statistically speaking, you'll have an easier time than I
had at the same age trying for my first baby. Multiple
miscarriages don't necessarily mean that you have some
insurmountable problem, especially if you've already had one
baby. It may indicate that your eggs are ''getting old,'' but you
may have simply had a round of bad ones. And it is also possible
that something simple like Clomid will help in that realm. (How
cool that you could actually have chromosonal analysis... I love
extra info, and I didn't get ANY!) Don't give up yet.
Help, I really need some advise. After struggling with
infertility and failed IUI's we finally took the plunge and
went for IVF. All the initial tests looked great so I started
taking the drugs. At 41 I knew the odds were not in my favour,
I was prepared for the possibility that some embryos might not
develop and that those that did might not take. What I was not
prepared for was that I would only produce 2 follicles and
therefore not even be able to go ahead with IVF. So now I'm
trying to figure out where to go next. Unfortunately my
hormones made me burst into tears every time I tried to talk to
the doctor so I didn't get much info from him. Has anyone out
there had a similar experience? Is there anything I can do to
boost the amount of follicles I produce. The doctor said we
should try again in a couple of months but there was a good
chance we would have the same results. Any suggestions are
I had a similar experience - first IVF cycle canceled - but did conceive
on our third try. I'm not sure which clinic you're using, but we went
Fertility Center in SF. Not knowing many details I can just suggest two
would be to (obviously) try a higher dosage of the meds if you're not on
dosage. There are also different possible combos of meds. Different
different conception of highest, so I wouldn't hesitate to get a second
other is acupuncture. I was not a big believer beforehand, but I do
feel it helped me
to conceive with IVF. I went to Leslie Oldershaw, in Oakland near Grand
(www.leslieoldershaw.com). Meanwhile, we also got our adoption
because I wanted to feel that one way or another I was moving forward.
wishes to you. It's a tough process - try to hold steady and realize
that life is good
and precious no matter what.
I feel for you. 6 IUI's and 3 IVF's before I had my wonderful
daughter. Before you give up, consult with Leslie Oldershaw, an
accupuncurist who specializes in women's issues (including
fertility issues). I am convinced the last IVF worked because
of Leslie. Don't ask your fertility doctor, they will probably
tell you it doesn't work. I, however, had a fertility doctor
who was open to anything that might help and his office referred
me to Leslie. Leslie is in Piedmont, and more affordable than
trying IVF's over and over.
Hoping for success for you
I had my first child a age forty and my second at 43. After two
years of trying for my second child, I went to a fertility
specialist and did one cycle of injectable fertility drugs. I
developed only three follicles and my doctor told me to consider
egg donation. Instead, I tried acupuncture, and became pregnant
three months later. Several of my friends also had positive
results with acupuncture and fertility. Good luck.
I had that experience at your age and for my 4th IVF try, I got
donor eggs. It was weird ''shopping'' for eggs...flipping through
catalogs, paying an agency, setting it up...meeting the egg
donor...all weird. But, she was very similar to me
genetically...very similar. She was doing this and working her
way through graduate school...was planning to not have children
herself.. Anyway, I had 2 healthy normal babies from that
cycle. One fresh and one frozen 3 years later.
At first, I was sort of ashamed of myself and kept it all a
secret. Knowing that I would have to tell them someday and
groaning... I have told them and have met several others with
similar stories. You will be surprised at how many people are
doing this. (And adopting privately. ''Open adoption'' is huge
now and seems impossible but, actually, it seems to work well.)
I have 2 very healthy, very normal boys in Elementary school. I
am not recomending this exactly, but, I too was follicularly
challenged and this is what I did.
Just to mention it, a woman I know who also got an egg donor,
was sorry she did and felt like the whole thing snowballed in a
giant not admitting failure mistake. She felt like she wasn't
meant to be a mother.
I think that mother hood is so hard. We get so tired. Having
these helpless folk we need to nurture and protect is well,
hard. I love being their mother and have never been sorry.
You have a lot to think about. All of your choices involve hard
I am wishing you well!
I went through 10 cycles. The last 4 were IVF. My FSH was a horrible
21 and every
cycle before my very last IVF produced almost nothing. My last IVF
whopping 18 follicles which resulted in 9 healthy embryos. I gave birth
to a healthy
baby at the advanced maternal age of 41.
What I learned from all of it is that the doctors cannot predict what
your body will
do in the future. My doctors were baffled by my last cycle and told me
I could have
gotten pregnant that cycle with no intervention. There is a bigger
''cycle'' that is
happening in addition to your little monthly cycles. You may have
great cycles before menopause or you might not. You might have one
cycle next month or next year. My point is that several bad cycles
problem but there is no way to fully predict future cycles unless your
found a very specific, very definite problem. All the doctors at my
urging me to give up and they were wrong.
But I feel your doctor is doing the right thing by preparing you for the
fact that it
might not happen. You should be thinking about this possibility but at
time try to maintain some sanity. Ha! I laugh as I write this thinking
back to how
many times I burst into tears trying to have a conversation! There is
with you to be feeling this way. Take very good care of yourself. As
stupid as this
sounds you really need to pamper yourself. Eat very good food, get lots
of rest, go
for walks in beautiful places, stay away from people who aren't
supporting you etc.
And remember that all the initial tests looked good.
Many issues come up with infertility. For me it was a huge financial
ended up borrowing thousands of dollars from our family. So it also
comes down to
what do you want to do over the next couple of years. How do you want
your money and can you stand all the discomfort, both physical and
comes with fertility treatment? I was at the end of the road with my
last IVF. If that
failed I was not going to try again and I had reached a point where I
was OK with
that. Are you OK with not trying any more? If you are then maybe start
how to build your family in another way. Also, early on I felt so
devastated but I did
comes to terms with it BEFORE I got pregnant. It is a long process but
I feel for you
I went through the same process. I never had more than 3
folicles and proceeded from several different regimines of IUI
to IVF. We tried once with IVF. The shots sucked and were soo
painful and only 2 eggs fertilized and none implanted.
Without hesitation we explored adoption while still trying
using accupuncture etc. We used adoption connection in SF
(without a doubt the most affordable agency in the country) We
had a fabulous experience and have a beautiful 2 year old
daughter. We are now preparing for a second baby through
domestic adoption! We could'nt be happier with our situation.
Rather than see it as a curse, see it as an opportunity to
create your loving family and help a little one have a
wonderful life! Go to an orientation or 2 with a local agency.
You have nothing to loose!
infertile contented momma
Hi. I sympathize with you completely and I know how difficult
and heart-wrenching infertility can be, having been thru it.
Unfortunately the only answer to more follicles (not
necessarily good quality) is more drugs. Twice we tried my own
eggs. We tried acupuncture, yoga, meditation, reike, anything.
If someone had said stand on one leg and cluck like a chicken
and everything will come out fine, I would have been clucking
away. The second time I was on the max dosage. I got 5 - 2 were
pretty good. Outcome - polyspermy. Devastating and
heartbreaking. We had tried everything else and I wasn't
getting any younger. Our journey took us to 5 different IVF
clinics. After much soul searching and research our desire to
have a child was just too great. We turned to egg donation.
There is no guarantee with this either. Long story short, 1st
attempt (harvested 28 eggs) implanted 3 - did not take, the
rest of our eggs were dropped on the floor!! 2nd attempt, only
5 eggs - shared them with another couple - we got 3 they got 2.
Didn't take. Had womb evaluated - hysteroscopy - told I had the
womb of a 20 year old so should have no problems - so why am I
not getting pregnant!?. 3rd attempt - NO follicles produced -
you take your chances! 4th attempt shared eggs with another
couple total 15 - we got 7, they got 8 - none took - not fresh
nor frozen. There must be something wrong with me. We took a 6
month break. Meanwhile this is costing us a small fortune; the
clinic fees, the donor fees, the drugs, the freezing fees etc
etc I don't mean to scare you but this journey is costly -
insurance pays for almost nothing. We then found a clinic in
Reno, NV headed up by the most wonderful Dr. We chose a donor
who had been proven (she had donated once before). She produced
26 really healthy follicles - all 26 eggs fertilized. We
implanted 3 in the fresh cycle- none took. We decided to try
for the last time. We implanted 3 frozen embryos. It was the
last time - I was relaxed - after my implant I had a glass of
red wine and took a nap. At 43, I am pregnant! 9 months later
at age 44, I give birth to a healthy, beautiful boy. The
journey, 10 years in the making, produced the love of my life -
the child I was meant to have. I wish you the very best of
luck. Let me know if you'd like to chat further. Ask the
administrator for my email address if you want to get in
Go see Lifang Liang in San Francisco. She is the leading
acupuncturist working with IVF. And she routinely helps women
get pregnant in exactly your situation. I would schedule an
appointment with her today! Don't schedule another IVF session
until after three months. And try naturally in the mean time. A
lot of her patients get pregnant naturally after going to her.
She's a miracle worker!
Mother naturally at 41 after IVF
I have been reading the posts about fertility and wanted to
share a great resource here in the Bay Area -
Open Path The Fertility & Adoption Resource of Northern
California - formerly known as Resolve of Northern California.
There are drop in support groups facilitated by licensed
therapists the second Tuesday of the month. The next one is on
6/3 from 7-9PM. In addition to the drop in support there are
professional referrals, groups and other information and
community available to those wanting/seeking information. The
website is http://www.YourOpenPath.org. This organization is
here to serve the needs of those finding themselves on a path
that they did not intend as they try to have a family.
Maureen Raytis is a fertility specialist and extraordinary
Acupuncturist and Herbalist at the Upaya Center for Wellbeing in
Oakland. Physicians refer difficult cases to her becuase she has
had success where others had not been able to help. Most recently
I know of twins on the way thanks to her. I highly recommend her
for fertility problems.
Her office (510)444-4141; E-mail: email@example.com
Wishing you the best!
I posted a lengthy post about this already in the last month
(please search), but I was told I was incurably infertile (due
to my age, old eggs, nothing more). Infertility clinics
refused to take me due to my case being so grim.
I was given a very specialized herbal tincture (drink) by
herbalist Phil Madden, LaC, Sonoma CA. I had a child
naturally! He's now 7 and perfect :)
Phil Madden, LaC 707-996-6681
- Worth the trip, what's the risk....
I am 42 yrs old and was 14 wks pregnant when I had some very mild
(what I thought)gas pains one evening, went away, came back the
next morning(not painful),I went to the bathroom and my water
broke. I started bleeding immediately, and had no heartbeat at
the hospital and a D&E. I had just had a sonogram 3 days prior
and heartbeat and measurements were fine. When I was 29 I had a
fetile demise at 20 wks. (no HB at regular appt and baby had
stopped growing at 17 wks)OB will not consider these 2 connected
due to different fathers(I am remarried) and a baby I had in
between(4 yr old boy, also 18 yr old girl and 14 yr old boy)
Insurance has not covered checking baby for genetics either time
and I am not sure as to whether due to my age or some other
problem, I should try this again. 2 D&E's and feeling very sick
with these 2 pregnancies and the sadness of the miscarriages(and
felt healthy and wonderful with the other 3 pregnancies) scares
me to try again.
Any advice would be appreciated.
I'm so sorry about your miscarriage. I also was trying to get
pregnant between 40 and 45 - had two teens already but wanted
another baby. I had a history of miscarriage in my late 20s but
also had two normal term pregnancies back then. I did get
pregnant 4 times after 40, twice ''accidentally'' and twice with
IVF as I got closer to 45. I miscarried all four times. It was
devastating, especially that last time, when we'd put so much
effort and hope (and money!) into it, and we knew that was our
last chance. In retrospect, I should have been more realistic. We
have to face that our chances of having a successful term
pregnancy in our 40's are quite slim, and get slimmer with every
passing month. You might still be ovulating, and your hormones
might still be up there, and you might get a pregnancy, but your
eggs have been around for a long time. Most of the good ones are
gone, and the ones that are left have seen better days. If you
really want to have another baby, which I highly recommend by the
way! please consider either donor eggs or adoption. Donor eggs is
expensive, but adoption does not have to be. We decided to
adopt, and we are very, very happy with our son and can't imagine
things turning out any other way. All the best to you and hang in
Mom of 3
I didn't see your original post, but will share my own
experience. I gave birth to my first child at 41, after four
years of infertility treatments and two early miscarriages. As
we tried for a second child, I conceived three times between age
43 and 44, had two more early miscarriages, and gave birth to my
(now 11 year old)daughter at age 45. My husband and I had agreed
that we would not got the infertility-treatment route for #2,
and we didn't... that said, I'm still amazed that we got so
lucky-but you might, too! I say, go for it!
I've my first daughter at age 42 and I've been trying for 18
months for a 2nd child, with 1 failed IUI and 2 failed IVFs.
I'm getting ready for a 3rd IVF attempt but I'm losing all
faith and losing all hope that we will succeed and would like
to know if anybody out there who's 44 and above and have
conceived naturally or thru IVF using own eggs? I've been on
acupuncture and also TCM for 3 months now but not hopeful that
these would help increase the chances. I was on acupuncture and
TCM during my last IVF attempt. I would appreciate anybody out
there who could give me some hopeful advice. My husband and I
had eliminated using donor eggs or adoption. My husband has
good sperm count and motility. I'm very guilty that I'm the one
responsible for not being able to grant my daughter a sibling
as she loves babies and will be a good big sister.
Hopeless Advanced Maternal Age Mom
I was 42 with my first and 45 with my second.
My #s were such that donar eggs seemed like the only way. I,
like you, did everything groovy; acupuncture, acupressure,
years of herb drinks, clomid and oh yeah! sex and ovulation
kits....first. I had a couple of possibly incompetent and
certainly untalented fertility doctors before I lucked into
Susan Willman out in Orinda.
She did a series of plastic surgeries on my uterous, made it a
good place to grow in and set me up with the egg brokers. (my
words, not hers) That was an amazing process. I could write a
lot about it but, in the end, we got a lovely woman who was the
same chop suey mix that I am. She had the same hands, feet,
coloring, texture, and general build as me. However, she had no
history of insanity or anything except the occaisional
alcoholic in her background, which, in my case was trading up.
So, while I felt a lot about having to have a donar egg, I also
feel a lot of relief knowing that I am the only one genetically
pre-disposed to senile dementia and paranoid delusions in our
little family. As a mother, there is enough powerlessness!
OK, you have one child and you want another. Why not let your
husband's sperm get with a younger version of yourself in the
You probably have a great gene pool and it is sad... Well, so
many woman have heartbreaking results with want want wanting
that second child. If the gap is too big, and if the second
child is medically fragile? I don't know, it is all hard.
There are so many parts of it to mesh together. How your
husband feels is a big part. Infertility can rip you to shreds
and people rip each other up about it sometimes. I certainly
felt ''barren'' and ashamed. I was sad that I had to spend my
My husband was awfully proud of his motility count and it was
hard. ''That's nice honey!''
You know, a life saver for me was someone I met on the other
side of the curtain at the fertility clinic. We saved each
other a bundle calling and talking the fertility lingo... She
was the only person in my world who knew what I was talking
about. I guess that's where RESOLVE and other groups are so
helpfull...you can flame off and get something to hold on to
when you feel adrift...
I'll listen off list if you need me.
I am really sorry to hear about your difficulties. You sound
very sad and scared. I wish I had specific success stories to
tell you, but alas, I don't--at least not about getting pregnant
and keeping the pregnancy at age 44. However, I can tell you
that I have come to LOVE having one child. Yes, there are still
moments I feel terrible that I don't have two, that my son does
not have a sibling. But soon, the joy of having my son takes
over. There's more we can do together--I can take him to
classes, help him with his homework, play together, and not have
to worry about sharing my time with another child. My son is a
terrific conversationalist, and I think part of that is because
we get to talk with him all the time, without interruptions. I
make sure he has lots of time with friends and cousins. Yes, my
son also loves babies and would be a great brother. But a
sibling is not the only way to have that experience, and I trust
him such that I know that as he grows he will find time to be
with younger kids, too.
Do what you need to, and if the next round of IVF works, mazel
tov! But if not, deal with your grief and try to refocus your
loving attention on your daughter and all that is great about
If you're looking for success stories, my healthy and
rambunctious son was born when I was 44 1/2. He was an accident.
I suspect that your stress over the situation is interfering with
your plans... but its hard to be casual and carefree when you
think you're time's running out. For me, the trick was giving up.
Once I knew it wasn't going to happen, it happened.
Maybe it would help to remember that your daughter will be fine
either way. You're the one who will have to deal with
disappointment...and you will, if you have to. Good luck!
Third Kid's the Charmer
Do not lose hope!
Have you seen Randine Lewis's site: www.thefertilesoul.com? Go to
the Diagnosis page and click 'advanced maternal age'. Please stay
hopeful and try not to feel guilty. Guilt only blocks your
positive life force which you need for reproducing.
All the best to you.
Hi, I am 45 and tried to have my first child starting at 40. We
were unsuccessful and now have a beautiful 21 month old through
I know you have this dream of having a second child and sibling
for your first but it is a reality that fertility declines
rapidly after age 40. You were blessed to have your first after
40. Please stop feeling guilty. You have no control over your
fertility decline. Men don't have this same decline so its
normal that your husband would continue to be fertile. Its no
one's fault just life.
If you really want a sibling there are many options: egg
donation, open adoption, public adoption...Don't get stuck in
the idea that there is only 1 way. You never know, this may be
an opportunity to find the child you meant to have, I know it
was for us :)
Over 44 pregnancies are infrequent and frequently result in
miscarriage, so you should not berate yourself. Rethink your
parameters. I just decided, ultimately to raise my odds by
using donor eggs. It was a loss giving up on my own ability to
have children with my DNA. But I picked a donor who looked a
bit like my mother. The children I gave birth to at age 46
(almost 47) are amazingly beautiful and enchanting, noisy,
curious and fun. They are not related to me genetically but
both my husband and myself consider ourselves doubly blessed.
I got pregnant without intervention 3 times between age 43-44. I
had my first child at 41, after 4 years of infertility
treatments (clomid and acupunture only, no IUI or IVF). I had
two miscarriages before my son was born when I was 41, and two
more before my daughter was born when I was 45. Good luck to
you, may you be as fortunate as I was!
There is hope...My grandmother got pregnant naturally in 1939 at
the age of 45. You sound like a wonderful, thoughtful person. I
hope that you find yourself knocked up soon.
-My mom was born when her Mom was pushing 46
Chances of live birth with fetus conceived of own eggs at 44
are 3% even with IVF. If you really really really want and are
willing to spend time and money for a biological child, nowhere
in the country can touch the outcomes of the
for Reproductive Medicine. Try the polar body biopsy with day
three transfer method. It worked for me at 44 and my friend at
43, 100% of our little sample. Anywhere else would have killed
the fragile old-lady embryos. I had tried with DH on our own
10 times with ovulation test kits, timing, herbs, acupuncture,
etc., foolishly wasting precious time. Even CCRM probably
can't help at 45...
Voice of reason and experience, MD
My husband and I are in our forties. We are trying and trying
to have a second child. We tried chinese herb and acupuncture
for about a year to no avail. We checked our bodies with an ob
and found nothing wrong.
Any advice, ob/gyn, therapies, acupuncturist recommendation is
Infertility is extremely common for women in their 40s. I recommend
going to a
reproductive endocrinologist rather than a regular ob-gyn to find out
what's going on
and to discuss your options. I highly recommend
Dr. Susan Willman at
RSC in Orinda.
She's very competent, compassionate, and a great communicator.
We have suffered from infertility as well, and are very
fortunate to have delivered our first daughter when I (female)
was 41 and will deliver our second child when I will be 44.
One of the only places in the country with any fertility
success with women in their 40's is the
Colorado Center for
Reproductive Medicine. A telephone consultation (one hour)
with them is $250. Schedule it today.
If you think I'm exaggerating, let me just say that the
national average live birth rates for 44-year-old women
undergoing IVF with their own eggs for fresh cycles is 3.3%,
but at CCRM it is 16.5%, and no other center in the country can
approach that. (These are 2006 statistics, which will be
published in the next couple of months on SART.ORG)
Childless till CCRM
Don't waste any more time. Go see fertility expert. I'm
approaching 39 and have been trying for 16 months. No. 1 was
super easy. I could kick myself for not seeing a specialist
earlier. Other help is joining a fertility group on-line. I
like Mothering.com/discussions and have found some good Yahoo
groups. You will learn alot and it will help when asking a
doctor the right questions.
- In the Same Boat
If your husband would like another biological child, maybe you
could find an egg donor. You could still try IVF just to make
sure that there really aren't any remaining viable eggs.
I'm very sorry that your eggs lost a critical year while you
discovered that acupuncture and chinese herbs are no more
effective than placebos. I don't know if a lawsuit could ever
recover enough to compensate for what might have been.
On the bright side, I know foster parents who adopted lovely
children who had been placed in their care. If you want a girl,
there are thousands of girls in Chinese orphanages still waiting
Too late smart
We tried to conceive our second child when I was 40. We too had
nothing wrong with all the tests we did and I had gotten
pregnant right away with our first child. What it comes down to
is that your eggs are way past prime. Sure, accupuncture may
work for some women, but I really believe you are not going to
have any luck at your age without trying fertility treatments.
It was the only was I got pregnant after trying accupuncture
and other alternative routes. Don't waste any more time trying
more ''natural'' methods. You will only increase your risk of not
getting pregnant, of having a higher risk pregnancy and of
complications with your baby. The odds for birth defects
increase dramatically in your 40's and that's nothing to mess
Because of your age, I think you should go see a fertility
doctor. I got lucky with
Dr. Susan Willman
after wasting quite
a lot of time & $ with others. I also did a lot of
accupuncture, Chinese herbs, and everything elsealternative.
Willman did some plastic surgery on my uterus and IVF and I
have 2 perfect children. I think doing everything is good. I
mean some people never get lucky no matter what they do but I
felt that it all added up to make it work.
I only mention your age because I was 42 & 45 when I had my
kids and man! TIRED? So tired. Plus, most of my ''peers'' in
motherhood now, could be my kids if not for birth control.
I am 42 with FSH 7 and have had 3 failed IUI's using frozen donor sperm. My
doctor says that , though my FSH is in ''normal range''( his term) and I am
making 5-7 follicles a cycle on clomid alone, egg quality may be a factor in my
lack of success. I cannot afford IVF as my insurance does,'t cover any of it and I
am SMC of a 4 year old. Is there anyone out their who is my age w/ similar FSH
level who had success w/ IUI who didn't use fresh sperm? Am I just waisting my
We did not do frozen sperm but I wanted to pass along a tip that
I was given. Apparently you can do 2 inseminations per cycle.
It makes perfect sense when you think about it, and the tip was
from the lady who worked at the lab that collected the sperm
Best of luck to you.
Two important things... are you seeing a Reproductive
Endocrinologist and have you had an HSG to make sure your tubes
are clear and uterus is normal? Any good RE will have you try FSH
injections before IVF - that's standard. It may well be a problem
with egg quality and more FSH (even if your levels are normal,
like mine) will improve that. At 34, after failure to conceive
naturally or with clomid, I had luck on my first try with FSH and
IUI. It was fresh sperm, but I don't think that makes a big
difference. Another very important thing in my opinion is the
mind-body connection. I was very stressed and obsessed with
getting pregnant. Doing lots of yoga and meditation, taking time
for myself and joining a support group helped me tremendously. I
also tried acupuncture for fertility. Who knows what really did
the trick, but I recommend it all. Read Ali Domar's book
Conquering Infertility. Ali also recommends going easy on the
exercise. Stay positive! You'll get there!
3 attempts - You're just getting started.
I got pregant after my 9th attempt (also using Clomid with 5 -7
follicles a cycle) and I miscarried. Sad, but true.
I got pregant again after my 11th attempt. Here's what worked -
you need to cover the cycle. When I knew the follicicles were
ready, I used a non-washed vial at home. (Think Turkey Baster
only smaller) the next morning I had an IUI. It worked. I have a
beautiful daughter to show for it.
Interestingly enough when she was 2 1/2 she said to me. I've
been inside you before. (she started talking at 7 months). I
said ''oh really.'' Yes, she said, but the rule is you have to
decide if you want to be a boy or a girl. I wanted to be a girl,
not a boy, so I had to start over.
Life's good - you'll get there - keep trying.
Mom of a girl who did not want to be a boy
After trying to get pregnant for a year, I was successful after
taking Prometrium for 2 months. Unfortunately, I was diagnosed
with a ''missed miscarriage'' at 9.5 weeks (embryo had stopped
growing at 7.5 weeks) and just had a D&C. I am trying to work
through the grief, but I'm pretty confident that I'd like to
I am seeing Dr Huibonhoa right now, whom I like in general, but
she seems overworked (she initially forgot to tell me about
test results indicating insufficient Progesterone). Before I
got pregnant, she suggested IVF right away since I'm 40. I
would like to stay away from ART for a while since I know that
I can get pregnant.
I'd love advice on what I can do to enhance my fertility, what
tests I should look into to ensure I can have a viable
pregnancy, and what I need to monitor during early pregnancy to
ensure the next one goes well (e.g.should I work with an RE?)
I'd specifically appreciate recommendations for practitioners
and other concrete information.
Try again right away. I had my first child at 37. At age 38 we
started trying again. I got pregnant and miscarried at 5 weeks
(i.e. I ended up only being 1 week late with my period but
happened to have a positive pregancy test result at 4 weeks). I
got pregnant again a few months later...I miscarried at 12 weeks
(embryo stopped growing at 9 weeks). This is more common for
older moms since our eggs are older. I waited 1 cycle per advice
from my doc. Got pregnant immediately and delivered a healthy
girl 9 months later 1 month before my 40th birthday. Don't get
discouraged. I have heard (perhaps this is true, perhaps not),
but you are very fertile within a month or two after a
miscarriage. Wait 1 cycle (i.e. have 1 period), then try again.
Hello -- I had a miscarriage and low progesterone. I went to
Lifang Liang, an herbalist and acupuncturist in San Francisco.
She was a gynecologist in China for 25 years. She works with
people trying to conceive with and without fertility
treatments. I got pregnant and held it (with her help) w/o
fertility treatments but my understanding is she has doubled
the rate of success for people using fertility treatments.
now have twins
Here are my thoughts (me: fertility issues, one living child,
age 41): when you get preg again get hcg test two days apart to
make sure your levels are appropriate - this can tell you some
info but not all. Also get your progesterone tested in case you
need more - some women do. Accupuncture is fabulous for helping
you get pregnant. Leslie Oldershaw in Oakland is amazing.
As far as an RE, I'd reccomend Stanford & UCSF but you'll
probably get the IVF push. I would consider some assistance -
drugs/iui although statistically ivf is better than those (check
cdc website for stats). Yes you can get pregnant on your own but
it took 2 years. To be frank, you probably don't have two more
years. Fertility declines dramatically at 41 (or there-abouts)
and you had a tough time the first time.
Resolve has some great resources/groups/information. I think
women often think they can get pregnant as they get older
because we hear of so many women who are pregnant at 41, 42,
43...etc. My guess is many did some form of ART/IVF/donor eggs.
Miscarriage is really hard, especially after infertility. I am
sorry you are facing this.
I'm sorry for you loss...I'm sure you will get lots of
responses because it is so difficult to face a miscarriage and
so many of us have experienced one, if not many. I've had a
few. The worst two were between my first and second child. At
the time I felt that I would never move on...four years later
it is a big blur. I was also older (37/38) and was worried
about never having another chance. After two late/complicated
miscarriages I had a pregnancy and gave birth to a healthy
baby. Try to relax. I also think my doctor was excellent (Dr.
Lanner-Cusin on Telegraph) and I would highly recommend her.
I hate to be a downer, but at 40 years old, you should go
directly to ART. I got pregnant immediately after getting
married at 37 and trying after 1 month, and then had an early
miscarriage. I did not have a pregnancy and child for another
2 1/2 years, wasting months on trying naturally, fertility
drugs without ART, until ART at the end. At 40, there are
exceptions, but that is what they are - exceptions.
I'm so sorry for your miscarriage. I had one myself at about 8
weeks and found it quite painful. The good news though, was
that I went on after that to have two healthy pregnancies and
babies (first born when I was age 40, second at 43). I was
ready to turn to IVF for the second due to my age and
difficulty conceiving since the first child, but ended up
conceiving naturally before actually getting IVF. I believe
what really helped me was acupuncture treatments I had with
Marti Lee Kennedy in Berkeley. I had started them with the idea
of preparing my uterus for implantation of IVF embryos. I found
Marti to be wonderfully sympathetic, supportive, and helpful.
best of luck to you in your process.
another late mama
First, I am sorry to hear about your miscarriage. I had one in
late 2005 and shortly after began seeing Debra Sue Kelvin, L.Ac.,
acupuncturist and chinese herbalist. She is located in El
Cerrito (www.healthychi.com; Phone: (510) 334-2472). She helped
me tremendously following the miscarriage and in getting my body
ready for pregnancy again. I am now pregnant and due in about 5
weeks. I highly recommend her. She has a very caring way about
her and is very knowledgeable about reproductive matters. Best
of luck to you. Anon
Just wanted to send a hopeful and positive note about the
miscarriage - Some time back I had been trying to get pregnant
for OVER a year and a half and finally did but had a
miscarriage at 8 weeks. I took it as a good sign since I'd
been afraid I didn't ever ovulate. I managed to get pregnant
again almost immediately, about a month later, even though they
told me to wait 3 months. Now I have a lovely 14 year-old
A miscarriage means something worked!
Mourning is individual, but my first m/c was the worst, and I had
an insensitive Doc. Your doc is individual too, because I love
Amy Huibonhoa (a relief after the first doc), and I find her to
be personable, returns all her phone calls, and generally doesn't
forget anything that is critical. Ask her about your concerns.
You may also want to get a referral to an RE or a real fertility
specialist-there is usually a waiting list, and the ob's make you
wait till you have THREE m/c Pbut you should insist since youUre
older & donUt have an extra yr. I thought Susan Willman in Orinda
was great-really smart, straightforward, data-oriented (which I
wanted, but you may not). She will first rule out the simple
problems then look for other solutions and make suggestions. Keep
in mind that some of this is not as black & white as you'd
like--including the prometrium suppositories, which I also used
(and believe in for luteal phase defects). It's not a guarantee,
but it doesn't hurt. With a REAL specialist (beware the OB who
calls himself a fertility specialist w/ no training), you get
more answers to questions, more info, more care and more
ultrasounds in the first trimester, which feels like
hand-holding. You donUt get that w/ an OB. Contrary to what other
posters have said, acupuncture can sometimes mess up other
hormone levels and an RE will advise you to stop. Truth is, only
1 in 3 pregnancies is generally viable anyway, and even going to
a specialist is not a guarantee of success (and certainly not
immediate). But even acupuncture sometimes works on luck (by not
screwing things up worse, and catching you on a good month). I
was really motivated to look for every possible way to get
pregnant and give birth. With that focus, more miscarriages
seemed less traumatic to me. (though they were still painful).
When I did get preg, I was focused on day to day and was almost
surprised to find that I was giving birth to my daughter. Check
out books like toni weschler Taking Charge of Your Fertility (tho
some things in it are wrong, the temp shift is one sure way to
know that you're ovulating, and a high temp for 10-12 days means
your luteal phase is ok, and 16+ high temps means you're preg!),
glance through books on recovering from m/c, pray if you want to,
FOCUS on what you really want and what you need to get it. It
feels better. Sometimes it was easier for me to get preg after a
m/c or procedures that ''cleaned up'' the uterine walls. Good luck,
and know that many others have survived this as well. (and don't
spend a lot of time w/ new moms or preg women for a while!)
Yesterday I had my second miscarriage within 8 months. This
pregnancy resulted from having sex one time after having gone off
birth control. It appears that while I can get pregnant, I
cannot stay pregnant due probably to old eggs and chromosome
I have been reviewing articles by Jon Cohen who wrote a book
about miscarriage and older women which actually seems somewhat
uplifting. I would like to explore the option of ''PGD'' pre
genetic diagnosing eggs to essentially weed out the bad ones.
This seems like a better option than just having miscarriage
after miscarriage, however at 44 it would appear that the
fertility clinic cut off age is 43.
Are there no exceptions? Even if it is shown the woman can
become pregnant? Is the only option donor/adoption at this
point. Any advice would be so greatly appreciated.
I am someone who did not stop trying not to get pregnant until I was 35,
I had my first child at 42 and second at 45. I tried everything before I
entered the world of modern medicine, I don't want to bore you with the
details, but I had BAD exeriences until after numerous tearful
supplications to my insurance company, I was referred through the mill
and landed in the lap of Dr. Susan Willman. Her practice is in Orinda.
My insurance (blue shield) said that they did not cover any fertility.
But they did pick up all of the tests and blood work and of course the
pregnancy & birth. Willman's fee was not as much as other women I have
talked to had to pay.....
Now I have met women who did not love her. She does not emit one ray of
false hope. But, if she does give you something to hold onto, you can
believe it. Besides, I have 2 perfect children thanks to her. I think
that she is very good.
Wishing you well!
You need to rule out a septate uterus. No doubt your docs have done
numerous studies and reassured you that the uterus is normally formed.
But quite simply, your doctors do not know how to diagnose a septate
uterus. In the course of 6 miscarriages my wife and I went to the very
best reproductive endocrinologists and fertility specialists in the
region and across the country, and without fail, they missed this
diagnosis. When an X-ray tech finally discovered the septum, my wife had
a simple outpatient procedure and was (successfully) pregnant within
three months. Since this time, 4 of our acquaintances have also suffered
repeat miscarriage and been told that they had perfect uteri. All of
them had septums, all of them now have babies.
I don't know why, I don't know how, but either docs are not trained
to look for this, or it is simply exquisitely difficult to see with the
various imaging technologies. We've found a doctor who excels at this,
and I really think you can't afford not to consult with him. Any woman
who suffers multiple miscarriages of unknown etiology should raise a
high index of suspicion for suptate uterus. A septum is a non-vascular
portion of the uterine wall. The fetus grows until it hits the septum,
at which point it is denied blood flow and must miscarry.
I feel a bit like a snake-oil salesman here; I'm never this vehement
about anything. But I've seen this diagnosis missed so many times that I
am awestruck. Believe me, there is a lot of quackery out there. You are
incredibly vulnerable right now and willing to try anything. (I sent a
vial of cryogenically frozen sperm to the animal science lab at the Univ
of Nebraska, but that's another story.) The bottom line is that at your
age, you don't have much time. Your docs will tell you not to be
concerned until three miscarriages, but you don't have that luxury.
The doc you need is Charles March, and unfortunately he's in LA. I
really wouldn't accept anyone else--they just don't yet know how to look
for septums. So do yourself a favor, spend 100 bucks on a flight to LA,
see Dr. March and put this to rest. It may even be possible just to
FedEx him your images. But don't fart around with immunology,
acupuncture, off-the-wall genetic testing and everything else out there
until you are dead sure that you don't have a septum. And PLEASE PLEASE
PLEASE don't ''just try it again and see what happens'' like your docs
probably want you to. If you have a septum, your baby will miscarry. End
Sorry to be so blunt. I know this is a miserable thing to be going
through. But time is of the essence and you can't afford not to know for
Dr Charles March is at
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me.
Best of luck. Don't give up.
I'm so sorry to hear about all of your troubles, it's heartbreaking.
Have you tried acupunture? I'm 35, It took me nearly 2 years to get
pregnant, I could get pregnant but for some reason it just wasn't
working, so I tried acupuncture. Not only did it relieve a lot of stress
I was having trying to get pregnant, I finally got pregnant! I 100%
believe that she was the miracle worker. I often tell her that my
daughter has her nose :). Chalita works out of Larkspur in Marin but
makes house calls (to the EastBay & SF)! I continue to use her services
for now recovering from birth and will go to her when trying for our
next child as well. Her practice is primarily women based, focusing on
fertility. She has such a warm and open way about her, can't say enough
good things... You'll have to see for yourself. Her name is Chalita
firstname.lastname@example.org / Ph: 415.225.5285.
I'm 42, and have had one miscarriage plus at least 2 other pregnancies
lasting just a few days in the past 2 years. I had my hormones checked
by my ob/gyn. From there I called UCSF fertility clinic. They said
they do not discriminate by age. I haven't looked into it further (this
was a month ago.) My guess is that it's the insurance people that may
However, if your hormone levels are good (day-3 FSH, LH, and estradiol),
then the fertility doc ought to be able to make the case to the
insurance folks that you are ''treatable.'' The next step is to consult
with the fertility doctor to see if they do think you are treatable. I
need to do that step. So I'd advise you to get your bloodwork done and
call UCSF. By the way: I've heard.... but cannot testify... that
there's no point to doing PGD at such an age as 44 because something
like 80% or 90% of all eggs will be defective anyway at your age. PGD
is stressful to the embryo. So it's best to just get the embryo into
your body. If it's genetically defective, it probably won't lead to
pregnancy in the first place. That's why at your age, it's not uncommon
for fertility doctor to allow 5-6 embryos to be put into your body after
invitro fertilization because they assume most won't result in a
pregnancy. But if you do get pregnant, then you can let the fetus grow
and do more testing later -- either a CVS and/or amnio. But if you
don't have the emotional strength to even get that far with the
possibility of a genetic discorder being discovered, then by all means
try PGD. It is such a personal decision.... Your fertility doctor would
probably be very helpful in this kind of decision.
Already having one child at 39 we were prepared to adopt after suffering
from three physically and mentally painful pregnancies which resulted in
miscarriages. Then at age 41 we finally carried a healthy pregnancy to
term when we ''accidentally'' became pregnant within weeks after a D &
So much for our doctor discouraging sex so soon after the last
miscarriage and surgery. There is always hope as evidenced by the many
older moms in Berkeley.
Older Mom in Berkeley
There is a great support group on the web for this called fortility. I
think it is accessible through www.surrogacy.org/fortility
It is a great place to get any kind of knowledge or support for where
there are doctors and clinics who work with the over 40 crowd.
Hi, I am 41, have a beautiful boy who is nearly three, and have
been trying to conceive again for about 1.5 years. I had some
tests that confirmed that my FSH is about 14, which is of course
high. We also know that my husband's sperm is not great, high
count but low mobility (it was the same when we conceived our
1st baby, however). I am doing accupuncture to enhance
fertility, and soon may do a cycle of ovarian stimulation w. FSH
plus artificial insemmination. Basically, what I hear from the
doctors is that a pregnancy for us is a long shot, which makes
me extremely sad. I am beginning to have a very hard time
staying hopeful, even though I feel that hope is important to
help us conceive. Additionally, my over-40 friends who have
been trying to conceive all are pregnant now--but not me. It
Does anyone have any hopeful stories of conceiving after 40 with
a high FSH? Or any words of wisdom, or spiritual practices that
helped with attitude? I sure would be grateful for the help.
Trying to hope for a miracle
I was told at age 41 or 42 that my FSH was too high and I would
never conceive. The OBGYN gave me a prescription for Clomid
anyway, after telling me I'd need to see a fertility specialist
if I wanted anything more suitable to my advanced age, but that
I probably shouldn't bother. My husband had also been told that
his sperm count was low. I eventually figured I'd try the
Clomid, although I wouldn't have if I'd realized how expensive
it was. In any case, I did get pregnant at 43, after many
months of taking my temperature and charting my cycle, and I
swore never to see that MD again. I went into menopause
immediately after weaning my daughter, so it was clear that I
wasn't going to have any more kids. I wish you luck and hope
you can relax about it, or, if you really want more kids,
consider adoption. You never know - women sometimes get
pregnant when adoption is on the horizon, and if not, you've got
another baby to love and raise.
This is not what you are asking, but might be worth thinking
about What about adoption? I tried to get pregnant for many
years and went through many types of fertility tests and
treatments toward that end. I didn't pursue adoption until
several years after my last treatment and felt very resigned
toward not having bio kids, even if still sad about it. Then I
began the process of adopting and have the most wonderful
daughter (from China) that I could have ever dreamed of. I
could not be more devoted to this child and if I could have
known her back then, would not have been so vehement in my
pursuit of a genetically related baby. The desire for bio
offspring seems natural, but once you have a baby through
adoption, you may forget about how the stork delivered your baby
and the love will be the same. Something sad can turn into
I was told I had high FSH levels at age 39 by my RE following a
chlomid challenge test and the RE (Dr. Chetkowski) told me I
would not be a good candidate for IVF. This was very depressing
for me, but rather than give up, my husband and I started
pursuing adoption in order to have a second child. Dr. C
suggested we pursue an IUI following the chlomid challenge and,
voila, we conceived. I am now 14 weeks pregnant and enjoying
every minute of it. The week we conceived was the most dramatic
week of my recent life, one minute I felt pre-menopausal and the
next I got pregnant. There is hope, stay the course!
I got pregnant with my son at 41 (after 2 miscarriages) and the
doom and gloom high FSH speech. The trick for me was artifical
insemination (without ovarian stimulation). I am even hopeful for
#2, have gotten pregnant X2 but miscarried but I'm sure there is
still ONE more good egg.
Another high FSH Mom
Just a hopeful note. My husband and I had 3 kids with no
problems in the late 80s/early 90s. Then I had an incredible,
irresistable urge to have one more at 40. I don't know about
FSH levels. It was my husband's sperm that had changed. He had
a testicular vein problem and his sperm were abnormal (heads
and tails) as well as low motility. My OB_GYN looked at his
samples under the scope before our first try at insemination
(artificial, I guess). And she said 0% chance. Nothing
moving, nothing normal looking, no way, sorry. But she
inseminated me anyway. I went home and cried for a few days. My
period never came. I delivered an incredible baby boy in
November 2000. My Dr. said it was a f--ing miracle. And she
is a fertility expert. Good luck. Keep faith.
older mother with a miracle baby
Oh hon, been there, done that!! I feel for you. I was right in
your shoes, but my story has a happy ending, and I can offer you
much hope. I had my first, a boy, at age 37, and when he was 3,
we started hoping for 'just one more'. After a fruitless time
of trying on our own, we went to Reproductive Partners (in Los
Angeles, where we lived at the time). I could give you much in
the way of details. Very long story short, we were told, like
you, that it was 'a long shot' with high FSH, but I sit here now
with my baby in my arms. Yes, my own egg, and no, not even in
vitro. If you do some searching, you will find a lot of support
on the web...there is a special High FSH group, which I
recommend highly, along with related groups Pregnant despite
High FSH, and High FSH over 40. Also the boards on ''incite'',
especially the over-40 board. Wonderful women. I would be
happy to give you further help and info. We considered going to
one of the top centers in the US for this (Cornell) but managed
to get pregnant the month before. Doctors will pooh-pooh you,
but I know of many high FSH women who are now moms, second-time
moms, etc. I remember crying endlessly after that first
doctor's doomsday speech, but don't believe it quite yet. There
are lots of things that I did to help, who knows what really did
it...but I have lots of suggestions for you and many success
stories. Try everything that makes sense to you. There is also
a helpful book out there about high FSH from someone who has
been there...I've already given away my copy...it's called
Against all odds, or Inconceivable, or some such. Attitude is
essential!!! But also some very down to earth advice. The
cycle I conceived, I was practicing 'positive thinking', a
first, by the way, along with acupuncture, milk avoidance
(galactose - see the literature), various vitamins and herbs,
acupuncture, massage, fertility drugs, wheatgrass juice (ack),
and insisted on an estrogen patch (also a first for that
cycle). Who knows what worked, but it did. I do urge you to
see the best RE (reproductive endocrinologist) you can find, and
pronto...most lose interest after you are 43, and they consider
you to be 43 once you are over 42.5. That is, if you are set on
using your own egg, which we were (with a first child already,
we wanted them 'to match' genetically, or not at all.) If you
are open to using a donor egg, then your chances are much
better, because it is the eggs that age, not the uterus. By the
way, I got pregnant at 42.5 and am now almost 45. Feel free to
contact me. But most of all, seek a good RE, seek support among
your over-40 and high-FSH peers (there are lots and lots!!! you
are not alone!!!!)
I don't have first hand experience with high FSH, but as I
went struggled with infertility I met 2 people with high FSH
who conceived through IVF while doing acupuncture with Dr.
Angela Wu in San Francisco. She is quite amazing and
specializes in fertility issues. If you're not seeing her
perhaps both you and your husband should consider a
If you are seriously attached to having another child that is
genetically yours, I would highly recommend foregoing IUI
(artificial insemination) and go straight to IVF wth ICSI
(where they inject the sperm right into the egg). The odds of
IUI working are not good in your situation, especially in
consideration of your male factor issues. I would be afraid
that after several tries you'll find you've spent as much
money as you would have on IVF and wasted 6 months.
In the meantime there are some homespun things you and
your husband can do to improve the situation....
YOU Give up sugars and carbs and eat protein and green
vegetables. Follow something like the Atkins diet. (after 3
years of trying this is what finally worked for me). Relax and
stay stress free (ha ha!)
HUSBAND Tons of Vitamin C and L-Arginine. No
cigarettes, alcohol and ESPECIALLY NO POT (this has
totally ill effects on motility) for 3 months prior to trying
(sperm life cycle 90 days).
Sending you best thoughts and apologies if this message
seems abrupt, vague in places and does not offer much
My recommendation If you really want a baby and can afford
it, don't bother with any other fertility stimulating regimen--go
straight to IVF asap (with ICSI for your husband). I was 43
when I conceived this way, with a pretty high FSH level, and
it worked wonderfully. You're too old to have any real chance
of success using any other method and too old to delay.
(How old was your mother when she went thru
menopause? This is a key piece of info that should help you
and your doctors decide whether you're too old.) UCSF
takes insurance, and the IVF team there is fantastic. They're
also more likely than some other places to take ''older''
women (40-plus). GOOD LUCK!
I felt like your post had my name on it. I'm 39.75yo with high
FSH (18.3 as of Feb. 2003, probably in the 20s by now) and also
have a 3yo whom I love more than anything. My husband and I
want so much to give our child a sibling and have been trying to
conceive #2 for the past 24 months. We are finally pregnant
from an IVF/ICSI cycle I did in June with Dr. Geoffrey Sher at
Sher Insitute of Reproductive Medicine (''SIRM'') in Las Vegas
(www.haveababy.com), but it has been a very long, rocky road.
My husband also has male factor issues (normal volume and count,
but low motility and morphology). We conceived our first child
spontaneously despite being told that we would not be able to
conceive without IVF/ICSI due to the male factor issues. We
very much wanted to avoid IVF/ICSI for our second child, so we
had been trying almost everything else possible for the past 28
months. We tried varicolcelectomy and Proxeed for my husband
(didn't help), and 5 cycles of Clomid with IUI. Nothing
worked. In retrospect, I wish my Reproductive Endocrinologist
had been more forthright with me. The sad truth is If you're
40 or over, particularly if you have male factor issues, you're
wasting valuable time by trying anything other IVF with ICSI.
Also, high FSH gives you another unfortunate twist. Many IVF
clinics will discourage you from even trying IVF unless your FSH
is 10 or less. You will be given the ''your chances with your
own eggs is less than 1%, why don't you try donor eggs'' speech.
All that being said, it is not impossible, but it is difficult
to conceive with your own eggs at 40+ with high FSH. You
should, however, do your research and go into this with your
eyes open. Here are my suggestions
1. Ask yourself how much you really want a second child and if
the second child must be your biological child. You'll find
that infertility takes over your life, and it's good to be
really clear on what you're doing before embarking. You'll be
told over and over again that your chances of conceiving will be
much better if you use donor eggs, but that is a big step to
take emotionally. You may also wish to consider adoption.
While considering these options, it's probably a good idea to
seek out counseling. RESOLVE has the names of therapists who
specialize in infertility issues and can help you work through
the whole biological child v. donor egg vs. adoption issue.
2. Ask yourself how much time and money you want to invest in
the process of having a second child. We ended up spending 2+
years, and many, many thousands of dollars, even though we are
fortunate enough to have infertility insurance. We had to take
out a 2nd mortgage on our home to finance our costs. I also
ended up quitting my job because the infertility journey was
taking so much time and energy.
3. Get support and info. There is a ''Women over 40 with high
FSH'' support board at www.network54.com/Forum/53068 that is an
excellent source of info. Other websites I've found useful are
ivfconnections.com and fertileheart.com. There's an excellent
list of books at the ivfconnections.com website that you might
want to check out. In particular, read Julia Indichova's
book ''Inconceivable'' about a woman who conceived naturally at
the age of 44 with FSH of 42. Fertileheart.com is her website.
4. If you decide you want to pursue treatment with your own
eggs, find yourself an EXCELLENT Reproductive Endocrinologist
(i.e., a fertility expert). Do not waste your time with Gyns.
Also, you need to find yourself the RIGHT RE. Most REs will
tell you that they do not recommend treatment at your age and
with your FSH. I would do as much research about high FSH/REs as
possible. The high FSH support board is a good place to start.
Locally, I would stay away from any RE/clinic other than Dr.
Christo Zouves at Zouves Fertility Center in Daly City
(www.goivf.com) or possibly Dr. Miliki at Stanford. The top REs
nationally for high FSH are Dr. Sher at SIRM in Las Vegas and
Dr. Jerome Check at Cooper Institute in Marlton, New Jersey.
They have very different approaches and are each quite
controversial. Each has a pretty good success rate with women
with high FSH, however.
5. If you want to try with your own eggs, I highly recommend
Traditional Chinese Medicine as an alternative therapy. The big
ticket item around here is Dr. Angela Wu on Clement Street in
S.F. (www.wushealingcenter.com). Her practice is devoted to
fertiliy issues and she has a lot of success with older/high FSH
women. She is, however, VERY expensive - expect to pay $200+ per
treatment, including herbs. Also, it takes a lot of time and
energy to trek out to the outer Richmond once or twice per
week. Again, you need to decide upfront how much time, money
and energy you want to put into this. I've also heard and read
excellent things about Dr. Y.C. Chiang in El Cerrito. Other
local acupuncturists who treat infertility are Leslie Oldershaw
in Piedmont and Nancy Rakela and Marty Lee Kennedy in Berkeley.
Also check out www.easternharmony.com. There's an excellent
article about maternal age and egg quality there with TCM
suggestions on improving egg quality.
6. Don't overlook the male factor issue. Many REs believe that
the best way for older women with high FSH to conceive is
naturally. The only urologist around here worth much in terms
of infertility is Dr. Paul Turek at UCSF. There might be
something that can be done about your husband's condition.
7. If you really want a child, believe that you will get the
child that is meant for you, whether the child comes to you from
your own eggs, through donor eggs or adoption.
Best of luck to you!
I too had a very high FSH level, much higher than yours and
went on to conceive at the age of 39--ended in miscarriage; at
the age of 40--another miscarriage; and am pregnant now once
again at 41--say a prayer for me. My doctor at 39 told me that
there was very little chance of my conceiving and that I should
consider a donor egg. I went on, as you can see, to conceive
three times. So, the doctors don't always know everything.
While I had given up faith, my husband never did. It helps to
be in touch with your ovulation cycle--determine your most
fertile days through cervical mucous and temperature and be
sure to have sex those days. I'd say give it another year.
Unlike in-vitro, if you do decide to go the donor egg route or
adoption, there's no age limit, so you might as well try a
I, too, had an FSH of 14 and got ''the talk'' about how difficult
it may be to conceive again. I went home, cried, and kicked
myself for waiting so late to start trying to conceive. But in a
weird twist of fate, the very month I got that news we got
pregnant and now have a baby boy.
Sometimes I wonder if I stopped stressing out that month.
(''Probably won't work but we might as well have fun!'')
Maybe that helped. Who knows. Probably just a fluke. But if
you can try not to worry too much... I know that's hard to do.
That being said, I had also started to think about adoption or
FSH is just a number
I am looking for a fertility specialist in the Berkeley area. I have
searched the UCB Parents archives and found the information there to
be from 1998 and 1999. I am forty one years old with two kids eleven
and sixteen. I really want another baby. However I do not feel that
I need in vitro or artificial insemination. I am just interested in
drug therapy. Any advice or recommendations would be good.
If you're only interested in trying a medication such
as Clomid, you can probably get that from your regular
ob/gyn, and use it alone without IUI or IVF. Clomid is
inexpensive and a relatively simple treatment but it
has it's drawbacks, too. If it takes more than that, I
would suggest you see a knowledgable specialist other
than your regular ob/gyn and I highly recommend the
doctors at Pacific Fertility Center in SF. It doesn't
come cheap, but they're really top notch. Good luck.
In addition to consulting an M.D. fertility specialist, you may
want to consider seeing an acupuncturist who works with infertility
patients. My fertility specialist (not in California) actually had
his patients work with an acupuncturist as a complementary therapy.
Here in Berkeley, Dr. Nancy Rakela (an oriental medical doctor, not
an M.D.) has a lot of experience working with infertility patients.
I worked with Nancy before my in vitro cycle, and I saw medical proof
(Doppler ultrasound) that the acupuncture improved the blood flow to
my ovaries and uterus. Dr. Rakela is located on 10th Street, and she
is listed in the phone book.
to the woman who only wanted drug therapy, I'd strongly urge her to find
out first what the problem is. Personally, I feel with all the
potential problems associated with fertility drugs, particularly for
women over 40, you're much better off finding out if there's an even
simpler solution (or less invasive one). (Aside from the increased
likelihood of multiple births, and the possibilty that they could dry
your cervical fluid, hindering pregnancy, there are some noteworthy
health risks.) And as someone else mentioned, if you're determined to
take fertility drugs, you don't need a fertility specialist, just a
willing ob/gyn. If you're more willing to be proactive and methodical,
I'd suggest a few things: A book by Toni Weschler, called "Taking
Charge of Your Fertility," and checking out some of the information on a
few websites (www.resolve.org, www.inciid.org). If you conclude that
you do, in fact, need a fertility specialist, Susan Willman in Orinda is
wonderful. But I suspect, from what I've seen in her care, that she
probably wouldn't consider just randomly prescribing drugs to you. And
not every fertility treatment involves IVF or IUI. It really depends on
what is going on for you. Dr. Willman has a fairly long wait (up to 2
months) for the initial appointment, and she strongly recommends a
series of tests before you even see her, to rule out some common
We are considering having a third child - our first two are in
middle school and high school. I would really like to have a baby but
my husband is 10 years older than I am, feels he is too old, and also
feels it would put a financial strain on the family. I would like to
hear from other parents who had a baby after 40 - how did it work out
The woman who wrote said "we" are considering having a baby but then said her
was opposed--so I think she is thinking of having another baby. I had my one and
only child at 43 (currently a high school sophomore; my husband has two children in
their thirties from his first marriage--we never raised them). My husband was also
resistant, but I desperately wanted to have a child. There are a lot of advantages
to being an older parent: you have more patience because you have more sense of the
impermanence of everything in life. This too shall pass! Also, the Bay Area is a
great place to do it if you're going to, because there are so many other older
parents. My child never got angry with me for being "too old" which I was almost
certain was going to happen. The primary problems are increased risk of ill health
and/or death before child is fully grown. I know three kids who lost mothers to
cancer, for instance, and three other mothers who have had cancer. Also extended
financial obligations. My husband's high school gang is now retiring and we have two
years to go before our child even enters college! A friend of mine had a situation
like yours--two older kids--and desperately wanted another. Her husband objected
because starting over again would mean another twenty years before they were ever
alone with each other. Why did she want to do it? I think now, she was desperately
trying for a girl, and finally got one, which made her very, very happy. Why do you
want another child?
We had our third child when I was 41 and my husband was 48. Being older,
the pregnancy and labor were more difficult but ultimately all went well.
When I first became pregnant, my husband was very concerned about being an
older father but it has become a non-issue. He has plenty of company in
Berkeley since many of our son's friends have older parents as well. I
think it gives us both an added incentive to maintain our health.
Finances are usually a concern. You need to ask yourselves how much you and
your husband really want to do this, is it somewhat realistic or would it
cause severe hardship and whether you can reach an agreement which works for
both of you. We have no regrets and while my husband isn't particularly
verbal, I know that despite his initial misgivings, this child has enriched
his life immeasurably and he is truly grateful for him. Good luck!
I had the same conflict for a while. My son is 12years old and my 22 month
baby girl was born when I was 43. I just have to say that I love having them
both. The difference in age is a huge plus. It couldn't be any better. They
are great with each other!
I wanted a baby so much that it was beyond reason, I am glad. My son goes
to private school. We don't know yet how it is going to be when the time
comes for my daughter to be in school, as far as money goes, but I am sure
we will figure something out when the time comes. Good Luck!!!
When my 2 boys were in their Jr. and Sr. years at UCB, I was 42, pregnant
and single. I was ecstatic; the Dad was not, but came around. He is now the
best Dad and very grateful I decided to have our son, who is now a
wonderful 15 year old. My older sons have always been supportive and they
are both very close to their little brother. Before my 3rd son, I always
felt I had one child to go, so had a yearning which couldn't be denied.
For a person primarily ruled by logic, this was such a strong primal
feeling that I had to pay attention, and yielding to it made me fearless.
That sense that it was "meant to be", along with 21 years mothering
experience, made me a calm mama. What a difference between mothering at 21
and mothering at 42! It is much better for everyone involved when you
don't sweat the small stuff.
I do agree with one person who commented that health might be a
consideration. But money? Who ever died wishing they had more money and
less love in their life?
Have you tried to get pregnant after 40?
I would like to hear from any over 43 moms about getting pregnant for the
second time. I'm told it's only a 5% chance. Just wondering what success
rate we have at UC. Did nursing interfere with getting pregnant? Has
anyone tried any of the new drugs that encourage you to produce eggs but
also give you big-time PMS.
There are a couple of good resources on the web for people
interested in fertility issues and over-40 pregnancies:
Low-tech Ways to Conceive (FAQ from various newsgroups) -LONG-
Pregnancy After 40: email discussions on ParentsPlace.com
I am now 43. I don't know about getting pregnant over 43, but I do know
about infertility. I tried to get pregnant starting from age 38 to 41. I
tried the fertility drugs, Clomid and Pergonal. My suggestion is to take
it a step at a time...first try to get pregnant on your own. Or start out
with an infertility specialist to assess your hormone levels, etc. and
start on the Clomid. Pergonal is very expensive $100+/injection, can cost
about $2,000/month (most insurance does not cover). I had no success with
either drug, did not produce any more than 1 egg per cycle. Experienced no
side effects with the pergonal, got occasional hot flashes with the Clomid.
A woman I know who started Clomid at the age of 43, experienced severe side
effects, bleeding, overstimulation of ovaries, etc. As it turned out, she
was taking the drug and not ovulating every month--she didn't know because
her ob/gyn didn't have the expertise/equipment to monitor this. My opinion
is that the older you are in trying these drugs, there may be an affect on
any pre-menopausal conditions that may be starting up...In any event,
please take these drugs under close monitoring (ultrasound) by a
specialist--don't have your ob/gyn prescribe them if he/she does not have
the ability to do this.
I tried to get pregnant during my early 40s unsuccessfully. We did use some
medical intervention (including some drugs) but never got as far as IVF.
There have been great strides made in IVF but many programs will not take
women over 40. (When I checked into it, about 6 years ago, that included
UCSF which has a good program. If I recall right, they did not admit they
would not take women over 40 but upon learning my age, they promised for
months to have the doctor call me and she never did. This same thing
happened to a couple other women I spoke with). If you have not already
heard of them, there is a group called RESOLVE which is a great resource for
information on infertility. It is a national group with an excellent Bay
Area chapter. You might want to give them a call for information.
We ended up joining a Resolve support group which was terrific. In the group
of 6 couples, 4 over 40, 2 of the over 40 year olds did get pregnant and
give birth to healthy children. Both of the under 40 year olds did likewise.
The rest of us adopted. IVF was used for all but one of the pregnancies.
For both women over 40 who gave birth, donor eggs were used. Obviously
this is just anecdotal info but I thought you might be interested. If you
go the IVF route, be sure to get info from the program you choose not merely
on number of pregnancies they have also on number of babies carried to term.
I had no luck at all with Clomid (one of the medications used to
stimulate ovulation and availability of fertile eggs). Tried for the
better part of a year; checking my temperature as a signal for
ovulation, scheduling sex and keeping all kinds of charts to document
efforts. There was another medication the doctor also tried (can't
remember name) but to no avail. PMS was not an issue for me.
My first and only child was born at age 39 and quite frankly I should
have attempted pregnancy earlier, "if " I had been serious. Of course
I wasn't "ready" at an earlier age and am very pleased with my
Our clocks are all different and my periods became "very iffy" by
42. There is some thinking that heredity (our mothers) has something
to do with this. I am very grateful for my only child and all that I
can give simply because I am an "older" Mom.
We know that there are wonderful success stories out there . . . and
some not so wonderful stories.
All things in life really have a strange way of working out exactly
the way they are supposed to" with or without medical intervention".
I wish you the best of luck and success in whatever decision and
choices you make.
While I wasn't pregnant after 43, I was pregnant at the age of 42, which is
It wasn't any harder getting pregnant at 42 than it was earlier with my
first two children, at the ages of 36 and 40. All three times it took a
year or two of trying, with no artificial aids.
The most helpful thing was when I figured out when I ovulated, by charting
my temperature before rising each AM, then started timing sex for my
When I first started trying to get pregnant at 35, my doctor became
concerned and started me and my husband on some tests. Several of my
friends were trying for the first time in their thirties, and not getting
pregnant either. First, it just takes longer at that age. Second, our own
concerns, our doctors' concerns, and all the publicity about biological
clocks, made us incredibly anxious. Unfortunately, tension and anxiety
sometimes interfere with getting pregnant.
It's likely to help, and it won't hurt, if you cut down on your stresses
and do relaxing things. I got pregnant the first time after finally getting
a pet cat, as I had been wanting to do for a while. Coincidence? Maybe. Or
maybe not. Other people advise taking a relaxing vacation.
I had our son when I was 40 using Pergonal. They have no
clue why it worked, but we were lucky. We tried Pergonal
again just before my 42nd birthday with no luck.
We had been given about a 5-10% chance of a pergonal cycle
working. We were hoping I could get enough eggs on one of
the cycles to do an IVF to bypass any questions if the eggs
We tried 3 cycles of it with no luck and were told to
use donor eggs. The last cycle I used 6 amps of metrodin (same
as pergonal) each day for 10 days. That was $3000 for those
drugs alone, but we were lucky that our insurance covered it.
We went for a 2nd opinion at UCSF (I was going to Chetkowski
in Berkeley) Dr. Schriock looked at my FSH test levels from
day 2 of my cycle and said given my results, he never would have
done a cycle. My odds of producing eggs were low, odds that one
would implant lower, odds of miscarriage were growing and odds
of deformities growing.
Sorry for such lousy news. All I would suggest is you go to
a specialist from the start and have them explain all the test
results right off. The reason we kept trying was because we are
blessed with a healthy son that they didn't think we would conceive
AND insurance paid for most everything.
Hi, Finally getting a chance to catch up on some email, and wanted to
reply to one woman's request for "over 43" pregnancy stories.
You can definitely put mine on the Success side. I was 45. My first
and at that time, only, daughter was 21 - years, not months, and on
her own. I got pregnant on an "oops." I'm sure the fact that I wanted
very much to have another child was helpful. My now 7-yr-old daughter
was born with both my daughter and my husband's grown daughter as
birth coaches in the L & D room. Tama scored 9 1/2 on her Apgar and
is a normal, "spirited" child who is the light of my life.
Our story became something of a legend among a group of (a little
younger) friends who had been trying to get pregnant. And most or all
of them did end up conceiving. So don't feel like it's hopeless,
sisters. We're living proof that it's not.
And I'd like to say that even though adoption is long, tedious and
expensive, I feel certain that a child is a child, and an adopted
child is every bit as much "your" child as a birth child, and you will
become just as attached and just as in love, even though she doesn't
come through your body.
By the way, my older daughter has her own daughter, age 4. The two
girls are the best of friends and mine takes her "aunt" role very
seriously. We think of ourselves as heavily invested in kids over
here, and the truth is, kids of all ages are right up there in my list
of the top 5 things of life.
I would love to hear from other older moms of 6-8 yr olds. I find
myself so much more patient and skilled at parenting this time around,
even though this child is so-o-o much more challenging than the first
P.S. I spent the Fourth w/friends and met a woman who had her first, a
boy, at 43, after trying for years and finally adopting a precious
little girl. She says 1) there's no difference in the intensity of
her love for the two kids, and 2) she believes she couldn't get
pregnant because her daughter had to "find" her and be adopted
into her family first.
At 45 I decided I wanted a baby. I got pregnant at 45-1/2, with very
little intercourse. I had an uneventful pregnancy with no nausea, and
I was only tired for an hour or so on two occasions. I had a natural
vaginal delivery and my son is perfect. I'm incredibly lucky and was
motivated to change my mind about having a baby due to all the
infertility around me. I swam every day until two weeks before the
birth, when I felt like quitting. The day I went into labor (13 days
before due date), I walked on the pier at the Berkeley Marina, ate hot
Mexican food, sat at an outdoor cafe, went home when my water broke,
went to the hospital when my contractions were down to four minutes
and gave birth five hours later. I never went to Lamaze classes
because I thought they would scare me, and I knew I knew how to relax
and breathe because of years of martial arts and yoga. I also thought
that women have been having babies for thousands of years and that I
I always had a hopeful, positive can-do attitude, I ate lots of food
while I was trying to get pregnant, and I've always been very
athletic. I guess I'm just lucky, and I pray it happens to everyone
else who wants one. The best moment in my life was when amnio went ok,
because with any woman that age there is a one in 38 chance of the
baby having the 23rd chromosome be defective. I'm not bragging, just
trying to give hope to people who are trying so hard. I hope they all
get lucky like Andrea (from the last Digest) and me.
I'm never tired now; I don't feel like an older mom, except for the
infinite joy, wisdom, and patience part.
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