When I had my first baby in 30s, a nurse told me one thing I still remember, basically most her patients tend to be older than her, when she started out in 20s till her 30s. A decade later, my patients seeking fertility help also moved to the late 30s and early 40s range.
The good news is people are willing to get more medical help from IVF with more successes.
The downside of course is more painful procedures and financial cost. When IVF failed multiple times, the couple might revert to more natural courses and give their body and mind a break from high stresses.
Traditionally, Chinese medicine doctors have helped a lot of men and women from general assessment only, menstruation, pregnancy history, digestive system, stress level, energy level, etc. Nowadays, we also ask patients for the fertility lab test results to help pinpoint the likely root cause, hence increase the chances.
|Areas of Health Issues||Likely Symptoms||Treatment||Acupuncture||Herbal Treatment|
|Irregular menstruation||deviates more than 5 days earlier or later than 28-day cycle, sometimes with spotty days in-between cycles||adjust hormone||Very effective||Very effective|
|Blood deficiency||mensturation too little blood or color too light||enrich the blood||Yes||Very effective|
|Yin deficiency||night sweat, dizziness, insomnia||suppliment Yin||Yes||Very effective|
|Yang deficiency||tiredness, low appetite, loose stool||adjust digestive system||Very effective||
|Liver Qi stagnation||bitterness in mouth, dry eyes, breast sourness, reduced appetite||smooth liver function||Very effective||Very effective|
|"Phlegm"||head heaviness, sticky stool, high cholesterol||adjust metabolism||Yes||Very effective|
|Ovarian cyst||abdominal pain||liver meridian||Yes||Yes|
|Uterine cyst||adjust endocrine||Yes||Yes|
|Breast hyperplasia||adjust hormone||Yes||Yes|
With above examples in mind, the patient may have some idea of how difficult her own case is. Since the nature of fertility treatment is a race against time, we also want to give the patient some baseline to help value the options.
The chance of conceiving at any giving month for a women at 40 is roughly 5%, and reduce to below 1% at 45.
After 35, it is beneficial to have a TCM evaluation what are the areas of general health and reproductive health issues one can improve, for first or second baby.
Around 38-40, the option should include IVF, with periodical acupuncture treatment to prepare the body and relieve side effects.
In early to mid 40s, especially after IVF failures, Chinese medicine treatment would target more on the general health side.
Chinese herbal and/or acupuncture treatment usually last 2-3 months, some patients have success pregnancy near the end of treatment or within 6 months.
Treatment for irregular menstruation, cycle or blood amount usually take effects in 1-2 cycles.
Treatment for whole body health issues last 1-3 months, and may be continually improved by dietary plans and exercises for another few months.
And the last note is more personal than professional, I know how it feels conceiving at 44, an "advanced" age, but did not have a success birth. It's natural selection at play, but it's always the woman who take care of other family members and carry the weight of career choices nowadays. When I read about pregnancy risks, I also read bout how children born by older parents feel. Some said they missed the parents' hay days, some are sad about one parent die right at the kid's young adulthood, but most expressed so much love toward their mothers for giving life to them.
No matter what the end result is, be proud of yourself as a trying mother-to-be, and maintain your health as well as you can. We are glad to help!