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Beat the Biological Clock

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Saturday, December 27, 2008 | 0 comments

Beat the Biological ClockIt's the equivalent of daylight saving time for the biological clock, more and more women are rolling it back to get pregnant.

Herbal remedies, acupuncture, and in-vitro fertilization are some of the treatments some women try to have a baby beyond age 40.

A treasure map to a baby? That's just one of many things Meredith Kolk tried. At 40, she longed for another child but knew the odds were against her.

"You hear about so many statistics that fertility really goes down at 40," she says.

Reporter Alina Cho asks, "Did that freak you out?" "It did. It was very scary," she responds.

So Meredith turned to invitro fertilization, hoping to increase her odds. She also used alternative approaches such as meditation, acupuncture, changes in her diet and that treasure map that kept her focused on her goal.

Alina asks, "There are those people who think this is a little nuts, a little crazy?

"They might but the process itself makes you feel a little crazy,"
Meredith says.

What Meredith is going through is increasingly common as more women 40 and older try to get pregnant.

"When I first got into the field, women over 40 weren't even encouraged to have treatment because they weren't going to get pregnant," Dr. Alice Domar says.

However, she says times have changed. She runs a mind-body center in Boston that specializes in women struggling to get pregnant. Her research shows a medical link between stress and infertility.

"If you can teach women stress management and relaxation techniques their pregnancy rates on average double," she explains.

On this day, 39-year-old Sarah Weatherhead undergoes acupuncture. She believes being more relaxed could help her chances of getting pregnant. She's had IVF three times without success and is awaiting results of her fourth invitro-fertilization.

"I attempt to be very positive about it, but it's difficult, especially when I've had so many failed cycles," Sarah says.

Sarah's playing the ultimate game of beat the clock. In fact, one study shows 33 percent of women infertile by age 40, increasing to 87 percent by age 45. Doctors say the best hope for older women is donor eggs.

"A lot of women initially are very reluctant to go down the route of donor egg because they'll lose that genetic connection with the child. But the fastest way to get a child into your home is usually with donor egg," Domar says.

So successful, a few weeks ago, a 70-year-old woman in India gave birth. While no age limits are enforced in the U.S., most fertility centers maintain a cutoff between 50 and 55.

Alina asks, "What do you think you can offer now that you maybe couldn't offer as a 25-year-old mother?" "I think I'm smarter. I like myself better," Sarah says.

Sarah is still hoping and as for Meredith? At age 41, her family has just increased by two.

"When you were making that manifestation board, is this exactly what you pictured and hoped for?" Alina asks Meredith.

"There was one baby in the original but we were lucky enough to have two, but yes this is," Meredith answers.


Image: 50 Things You Can Do Today to Increase Your Fertility, by Sally Lewis and Nim Barnes. Publisher: Summersdale (October 1, 2011)50 Things You Can Do Today to Increase Your Fertility
by Sally Lewis and Nim Barnes

-- Practical advice and a holistic approach to help you conceive, including simple dietary and lifestyle changes and do it yourself complementary therapies.

In this accessible and informative guide, Sally Lewis explains how age, sexual infections, diet, excess weight, stress, and anxiety affect fertility.

Teaching how to discover the best time for conception; understand the link between body, mind, and fertility; and manage stress and relax to prevent anxiety, this is the ultimate guide to increasing the likelihood of conception at any age.

Image: Buy Now on Amazon.comPaperback: 128 pages
Click to order/for more info: 50 Things You Can Do Today to Increase Your Fertility - US | CDN | UK

Image: Buy Now on Amazon.comStart reading 50 Things You Can Do Today to Increase Your Fertility on your Kindle in under a minute!

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About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost that precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted that there will be no more babies in our house.

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