I have received a large number of emails from women in various situations wanting to know what to do next or how to get started trying to get pregnant over 40. There is a lot of information on our site about what you can do and what I did; however, here is a quick snapshot from my perspective. (Remember that only a physician can guide you medically on precisely what you need to do in your situation. This post is not a medical opinion or medical advice – but rather my perspective on what you can do to help yourself get started.)
1. Get your body and mind ready. This means getting into really good shape physically and mentally. Physically, you need to start eating a very healthy diet, exercising, and taking a good prenatal vitamin. Mentally, you need to de-stress your life and get prepared for some probable ups and downs. Getting pregnant over 40 is rarely easy and often includes some heartache.
2. Talk to a good Reproductive Endocrinologist. Yes, this is not cheap. Some insurance policies cover this. Many don’t. If I had not worked with a really good RE, I would not have my little girl today. He identified the problem that had likely been causing my lifelong infertility (growth in my uterus); fixed the problem; and helped me conceive. I could have wasted literally thousands of dollars if I had gone directly into IUI or IVF without first trying to figure out why I wasn’t conceiving. As it turns out, I probably WAS conceiving my whole life, but the baby didn’t have any good place to implant. When that was fixed, I got pregnant almost immediately. Talk to an RE.
3. Talk through your options. I am reading a lot about women and/or physicians saying that women should go straight to IVF. IVF might well be the right answer, but IUI could also be a good option. Again, I am not a physician and only a qualified physician can give you specific guidance about your particular situation; HOWEVER, many REs will start with 3 rounds of IUI before going to IVF. (Of course, after the requisite testing to determine your situation -don’t skip this part.) IUI is less expensive, less invasive and less impactful. It is worth a discussion with your doctor about the merits of IUI before moving directly to IVF.
Get the information you need, get your mind and body ready, and then talk to your doctor. Lots of women over 40 are getting pregnant every day. You could be one of them. Baby blessings.