Baby naturally at 43 after failed IVF
Trying to get pregnant: 2.5 years
Western Medicine + General Diagnosis:
Short menstrual cycles of around 24-25 days.
Early ovulation around CD 11-12.
Light periods of 2 days.
Poor egg quality due to cellular walls being too thick.
Spotting during Luteal Phase.
Low BBT chart luteal temps.
No previous pregnancies with years of unprotected intercourse.
1 failed IVF cycle with own eggs. No fertilisation of 7 eggs.
Western Medicine Diagnosis of Partner:
Sperm health: 210 Million total count, and 6% normal morphology, which was good. However, he had only 32% motile sperm, indicating some motility issues at the lowest end of the normal range.
Western Medicine Suggested Treatment:
IVF once with her own eggs immediately due to advanced age.
If not successful then egg donation.
What They Tried Before My Help:
Angela had been working on her health naturally through diet and emotional support options.
The result of all these changes?
She felt well generally but had not experienced a pregnancy or positive changes in her cycle, and so decided that she needed further help.
Our First Talk Together:
As always we started with a 30-minute free online chat to discuss their journey so far, and also see whether I could help them.
Angela had been following me online for some time and was eager to have some support with me.
It was clear from the conversation that I could help her work on her fertility and cycle health, and optimise her health before doing an IVF cycle.
She was ready to progress but at the last minute (based on her IVF consultants advice) she decided to go straight to IVF and not have any natural support beforehand.
The IVF cycle started well and she had 7 eggs collected.
Out of the 7 eggs, zero fertilised – due to the cell membrane (outer wall of the eggs) being too thick.
The cycle was cancelled and they were told that an Egg Donor cycle was the only option for them.
Angela was devastated by the outcome and also annoyed that she hadn’t started some preparation before doing the IVF.
Now she had no further support from the clinic as they refused to work with her again unless it was a donor cycle – and so she decided to work on her health with my help.
We quickly moved them to the first step of my program:
a 3-hour online health assessment to diagnose the root cause and balance of their fertility health according to Chinese Fertility Medicine.
What We Found Through Their Diagnosis:
Angela and her partner’s diagnosis showed the areas of imbalance that needed to be worked on to enhance and support their fertility health.
Having had quite a lot of stress for many years, potentially poor egg quality, some ongoing cycle issues, and Angela being nearly 42 when we met – we knew we needed to get to the real root of her situation – for either natural or a future IVF conception to be possible.
In the 3-hour online health assessment we:
- 1. Reviewed their medical test results to see what was presenting itself
We found some issues with Angela’s Luteinising Hormone levels. This was showing a rise of LH too early in the cycle, which was likely causing the early ovulation – and therefore shorter than ideal cycles.
There were also some blood quality issues that showed that there may be a problem with nutrients getting to her follicles – creating a potential lack of support and nourishment of her eggs, which would decrease her egg quality.
These findings, along with the IVF diagnosis of ‘thick egg cell walls’, explained
why she may not have naturally conceived in the 2.5 years of trying – as well as the failed IVF cycle.
Her partner’s sperm health was within the normal range, but his motility needed some work to really increase their chances.
- 2. Assessed their health with a Classical Chinese Medicine (not TCM) health review, to find the underlying health balance for each of them.
For Angela’s partner, we found that he had slight disruption in his energy (Qi) level, which was the likely cause of his poorer sperm motility (energy) issue. We decided that we could deal with this through some basic dietary and lifestyle changes and some very basic supplementation to increase his Qi. Increasing the Qi would support his sperm motility over a period of a few months.
He did not need a comprehensive treatment program with me, which would save them some money for future IVF if it was needed.
Treatment was therefore focused on Angela and getting her ready for a healthy pregnancy.
We confirmed the root cause of Angela’s key health issues that western medicine had diagnosed, by completing her Chinese Medicine diagnosis.
We found that she had a Chinese Medicine diagnosis of Qi and Blood deficiency, along with a Yin deficiency – that were combining to cause her issues.
Qi (energy) Deficiency:
Angela’s Qi deficiency was likely present due to her many years of stress. She generally felt okay but had periods of tiredness and spotting during her luteal phase each cycle. These, along with other signs and symptoms and the presentation of her tongue (tongue diagnosis is a big part of Chinese medicine diagnostics) showed that her Qi needed support. As there was insufficient Qi, her body couldn’t create really healthy blood and fluids to nourish the cells of her body. This will typically create issues such as the ‘thickened cell walls’ that the IVF clinic reported had caused her IVF cycle to fail.
Many years of this type of imbalance would result in her body becoming blood and Yin (fluid) deficient.
Blood Deficiency and Poor Egg Quality:
As Angela’s Qi (energy) was reduced her body was unable to properly make lots of healthy red blood cells, and her blood quality declined over many years.
Once the blood quality had reduced it was unable to circulate properly and efficiently deliver nutrients to her cells – including her egg cells.
Circulation of the blood is directly linked to good blood quality in Chinese medicine. This poor blood quality started to present with a poor menstrual flow, and the menstrual blood was also light in volume.
Trying to just increase blood flow when the blood quality is poor typically results in either no response or a worsening of the situation as the Qi and blood get further depleted.
The solution is to work on strengthening the Qi and blood quality and increasing blood circulation at the same time, which will then result in a better menstrual flow.
Poor blood quality and circulation can negatively impact your egg health.
If the blood is weak it can’t carry the right level of nutrients, and so the eggs are not properly or fully nourished. Over time this weakens the eggs and reduces their quality. In Angela’s case, the lack of nutrients and delivery of fluids to the cells caused them to literally ‘harden’ or ‘thicken’, which made natural fertilisation impossible.
Yin Deficiency and Cervical Mucus
Angela also showed signs of a lack of general body fluids, including fertile fluids such as Cervical Mucus. This, along with other signs and symptoms, showed that she had less than optimum levels of healthy body fluids – known as ‘Yin deficiency’ in Chinese medicine.
Her body was literally ‘drier’ than it should be, as she had disrupted the fluid balance over many years.
This did not link to a lack of drinking fluids but was instead related to the underlying imbalance of her Qi and its inability to process fluids. A lack of Qi means that our body can’t complete all of its processes properly. In Angela’s case, it was more fluid oriented issues than anything else.
Changing this fluid balance was really important for her as it was directly reducing her egg quality and chances of natural or IVF pregnancy.
Once we had the western medicine diagnosis, and the Chinese medicine root cause understood, we had our complete diagnosis.
We were now able to use this as a basis for deciding on how to effectively treat her and restore balance to her fertility health.
We decided that Angela needed support on the program (and not her partner) and so we created her action plan in 2 parts.
- The 2-Part Action Plan:
Part 1: was to continue trying to get pregnant naturally, whilst working on Angela’s health with Classical Chinese Medicine – to prepare for a natural pregnancy within 6 months. If this didn’t happen, she would find a new IVF clinic and do one more attempt at IVF with her own eggs.
We chose the following 4 of my 5 Fertility Foundations to work with:
1. Treatment: Herbal Medicine prescriptions were personally created for each stage of Angela’s menstrual cycle. This was to strengthen her blood quality and increase blood circulation, whilst also working to strengthen her Qi and Yin and regulate her cycle. We wanted to restore ovulation to a normal timeframe of around cycle day 13/14.
2. Diet: was altered to support the herbal medicine treatment and rebuild her blood and fluid balance. We cleaned up her diet and removed all processed foods along with alcohol, sugar, caffeine and dairy. We increased her meat, green vegetables, and natural starch intake too. Gradually we rebuilt her Qi and blood quality, and worked to increase circulation whilst supporting the Yin (fluids).
3. Lifestyle: We worked through key areas of activity versus rest and rejuvenation, that could support her Qi and strengthen it. This stopped her using her Qi quicker than she was able to create and restore it. This had a big impact on how her body worked, as we quickly got the input and output of energy usage balanced. This also helped reduce her stress levels significantly and she was able to sleep more easily.
4. Mindset: Although most of Angela’s issues were physical, and would require physical health changes for her to get pregnant, we realised that she needed emotional support too. In the early stages of the program, she worked on optimising her emotional health and mindset, which really contributed to her overall health balance.
Part 2: This was our back-up plan that would be activated if a natural pregnancy didn’t happen within 6-months.
It was decided that if they reached this stage they would find a new IVF clinic and progress to an IVF cycle with Angela’s eggs one more time. She wanted to be able to see if the 6-months of treatment with me had made a difference – and she also wasn’t quite ready for donor eggs just yet.
Creating this 2 part action plan allowed us to balance Angela’s fertility health naturally, whilst preparing her for a possible IVF cycle if it was needed.
Having an IVF preparation time would help with egg quality, future embryo development, and optimising implantation of a healthy IVF embryo.
After 6 months Angela had experienced a huge amount of improvement in her health and cycle, but she wasn’t pregnant yet.
Her cycle had normalised around 28 days with ovulation being around CD14/15, and her luteal phase spotting had stopped.
Her Cervical Mucus had “doubled in quantity” – for the first time in her life.
Her Qi/energy had significantly improved, along with much better sleep.
Her emotional balance was much better and she was less stressed.
BUT – she wasn’t quite ready for IVF and wanted to continue support for one more month so she had time to find a new clinic.
One month later she was pregnant naturally at nearly 43 years old!
We continued to support her with Herbal Medicine, Diet and Lifestyle support through the first 16 weeks of pregnancy – to give her the best foundation for the pregnancy.
After that, she continued to follow my dietary and lifestyle advice, and we slowly stopped the herbal medicine.
She gave birth to a healthy baby girl at 43 years old.
Here are Angela’s own words:
“I truly believe now that age does not matter.
Before my treatment with Andrew, I had a failed IVF cycle and was told my 7 eggs didn’t fertilise due to thickened cell walls, and that I was too old (42) to conceive with my own eggs.
Andrew disagreed and explained how my underlying health balance was likely affecting my egg quality, and that this needed some support to see if we could make a change.
7 months after starting the programme with Andrew I conceived naturally at nearly 43 years old!
Thank you a million times for everything you did to make it happen. I am so glad I found you and will forever remember you.”
Angela, 43, Spain.
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