I am premenopausal (cd 3)and ttc (I am turning 53 on June 19th)My husband is 55. I am not persuing donor eggs, if we do not achieve pregnancy we will move on to traditional surrogacy. From my research (and experience) there are a number of things a woman can do to increase the odds of having a spontaneous pregnancy resulting in a healthy baby after the age of 50. I am not using any fertily drugs or any clinical methods under the supervision of any medical doctors. I was "laughed out" of the doc's office four years ago when he told me I was too old (this was without any tests, examination or evaluation of my reproductive/health history)... The following year 10 days before my 50th birthday I had a miscarriage--I was using BBT charting and detected ovulation on my 50th birthday. Shortly thereafter I started using a Clear Plan fertility monitor,I used it for 7 cycles...and it showed I was having mostly fertile cycles however it becomes a difficult tool to use if cycles extend over 42 days. (which started happening after I turned 50) I have continued to research--the biggest obstacles for a woman over 50 conceivng seem to be detecting precise ovultion time and egg viability. Two years ago I started taking Fertility Blend and conceived on the third cycle. That pregnancy also ended in miscarriage a year and a half ago. Because I know pregnancy is possible until it has been at least one full year (possibly longer)without a menstrual cycle, which would be the official clinical definition of menopause...and I still have menstrual cycles I have continued to research various options to increase egg viablility and methods of precise ovulation date calculation. I am currently using Fertility Planning Institute's method of ovulation calcuation ( http://www.fertilityplanning.com )--I have my second date calculated so far. The first date we had calculated earlier this month, my dh did not want to BD during the window--It appears I did ovulate shortly after the window closed and AF followed at 10 dpo. To increase egg viablitiy I am taking Chinese herbs, "ho shou wu" (also called fo-ti) in particular. I will elaborate more on the herbs if anyone is interested. I also want to make note that the mind is a very powerful tool in attempting to achieve a pregnancy at this age. We are bombarded with so much "information" and most of it is extremely negative for any woman who desires to have a child after the age of 40--so it is even more negative if the woman is over 50. Most conventional thinking people would think I am insane! The most important thing is to be absolutely certain in your heart and mind that a pregnancy is possible for you--and this may mean not listening to anyone who is negative in even the slightest way. This is why I am not consulting medical doctors to "assist" me in becoming pregnant....also it is helpful to take a look at your family history. Did your mother, an aunt, grandmother have a baby after the age of 40 or 45? Are there any women in your family who did not experience menopause until their late 50's or even their 60's? I had an aunt who menstruating regularly well into her 60's--it was only very recently that I became "aware" of the statistic that the average age of menopause in the US is age 51. I thought for years that it was normal and possible for women to have children into their 50s and 60s, and I thought that the reason that women don't continue to have children was because they didn't want them at that age in this society. I think back now and realize that those beliefs I held all these years were healthy ones and probably in fact, extended my own fertile years. I am a mother of five children,the first was born when I was 22. My last child was born when I wasa few weeks shy of 39. It was a very easy conception,and a good pregnancy. I gave birth to my son who weighed 8 lbs. 12 oz. at full term at home, a planned homebirth with a midwife. My midwife told me I was one of her youngest clients--many of her cients were in their 40s and all planning homebirths. My husband has never had children of his own. We were married in 1998, I was 47 and he was 49, and we wanted to start a family right away. We have been ttc for then past 6 years. I will update in a few days and answer any questions.
I'm certain that there are more than just the 2 of us in this situation. I married later in life to a younger husband, and we started trying right away. Never had any luck and went on to IVF. 3 cycles and nothing. We've been trying now with donor eggs and this is my third cycle. Hoping to have a positive result.
I also am still having regular periods, however even with using all the methods of calculating ovulation, had no luck.
Each of us, as you see, is coming to this with our own histories and hopefully we can respect each others decisions concerning how and what we're willing to try.
I do wish you loads of luck here. I'm working closely with both my traditional Chinese medicine person and with my reproductive endocrinologist. Hopefully we will come out of this with a baby in arms.
We are using herbs and vitamins to increase our chances as well. Here is our vitamin & herb regimen:
For me - Vitex (2 caps/400mg), Green Tea (2 caps/500mg), B100 complex (2 caps), Vit. E (2 caps/400 IU), EPO pre-O (3 caps/1000mg)(Flax seed oil post-O - 3 caps/1000mg), hi-potency mult-vitamin, cranberry (500mg), garlic (1250mg) and 1/2 tsp Maca in hot chocolate.
DH takes Ginkgo Bilboa, Siberian Ginseng, B100 complex, Flax seed oil and Vit. E (400 IU), garlic, hi-potency multi-vitamin and Maca (4 caps/750mg).
My youngest was born when I was 34, a planned homebirth that ended up with emergency transport to hospital moments before he was born. We hope to have our baby at home this time, despite my "advanced" age!
Annie, thanks so much for responding. I am delighted that I am not the only one here. Your stories are very interesting and I want you to know I have considered egg donation, and even had a donor two years ago. The reason I decided against it was because I felt strongly that I had not pursued all my options to conceive naturally and further more there are not many clinics that will work with a woman over 50... (There are a few that will work with women up to the age of 55, after that age you will need to lie about your age like Arceli Keh did--the woman who gave birth at age 61 via donor eggs, claiming she was 51)The other drawback for me personally is the involvement of fertility drugs for both me and the donor, which I am not comfortable with. I wish you the very best and hope to hear you are expecting a healthy baby real soon.
Catherine, Thanks for posting your protocol. Do you mind me asking your age? You may have posted it in another thread but I haven't read them all yet. Also I congratulate you on choosing to have a homebirth, I am also planning another one.
On our back-up surrogacy plan, I have found a surrogate. My only concern with her is that she doesn't seem too interested in having a home birth....other than that she is awesome.
Update on my situation, I am on day four of a new Chinese herbal protocol. I am now taking Fertility Phase I from Radiant Wonder http://www.radiantwonder.com and will be switching to Phase II next week. My Fertility Planning Institute date is July 1 8:02 PM to July 2 8:02 AM....so hopefully dh will cooperate this time around. I also antioxidants, OMEGA-3s w/ DHA, a patented absorption prenatal vitamins with a separate prenatal calcium & minerals, extra folic acid, red raspberry. I have taken the following off and on: false unicorn root, vitex, maca, ho shou wu, wheat grass, grape seed extract and a few others. Dh takes the antioxidants, a men's formula multi, folic acid, OMEGA-3s w/ DHA...he has also taken maca, but now I want to get him on a men's Chinese herbal formula and tongkat ali. I also take a robitussin type syrup and baby aspirin the week before my FPI ovulation date.
I am also a grandma of two a girl 7 and a boy 2. Both children of my 26 yr. old dd. I have five children 30, 26, 23.5, 18.5 and 14...the only boy is the youngest. Dh has no children bio or step from his previous 2 marriages. He is a great step dad to my five. I had miscarriages in 1999, age 47 10 mos. that one was twins, blighted ovum; then the one is 2001 at 10 days before my 50th birthday; then another in Dec. 2002 at age 51, 6 months. I was able to prepare for the last one, as the hpts were no longer postive after late Novemeber and my symptoms went away. I had all the m/c at home "medically unattended"--no d & c's--I have a protocol I follow for them so i don't hemmorrage and can monitor myself. Hopefully I won't have to go through that again. Anyway there are lots of advantages to self-care which go back to my homebirth.
Catherine, I couldn't view your chart, I am curious as to where you are in your cycle? I am on cd 11 and day 4 of the new Chinese herbal protocol. According to FPI I will ovulate on July 2.
I'll see if I can get my chart to work this time! Success!!
I am on cd17 - 4 days past ovulation. The last few years my cycles have settled down to exactly 28 days apart, ovulating on day 14. Since my miscarriage in Feb, they have been shorter, and are still working their way back to "normal". It's strange to have such regular short cycles after all those years of erratic long cycles!
I've had chemical pregnancies the last two cycles - at 4w2d for both. I have had 6 documented miscarriages - ranging from 7w to 14w. I had my first miscarriage at 18, just 6 months after we married. Another at 19, then my first two boys. Three more miscarriages in my late 20's, early 30's. The most recent miscarriage, I was 49y.
I think I also have had many more chemical pregnancies in the past - before I started charting and learning about my body. I started charting in the early 80's because my cycles were anywhere from 30-45 days apart.
I've unfortunately had several D&C's with my miscarriages. I have tried to avoid them, but last time I went from just spotting to hemorraghing in just a few minutes - soaking my pad and clothing every 10 minutes. I ended up having to be rushed into surgery. How did you avoid that?
My boys are 16y, 27y and 29y. I have 4 grandchildren through my oldest - one grandson 5y and 3 step-granddaughters - 9y, 11y, 12y.
I was enlightened by your post regarding your preconception protocol. I'm going to try the Fertility Tea. You mentioned the Chinese Herbs you took for egg viability improvement. Can you explain the details? I would be interested in trying them.
This message has been edited by Katy248 on Jul 4, 2008 12:55 AM