Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fertility After Forty: The Critical Mom's Guide

Readers have asked me how I did it--three kids after age forty.  I turned 42 one week after my firstborn emerged, 46 with the second and 47 with the third.  I was not the only lactating woman in menopause around, but I was the only one in my town.
I can recommend three methods, but before I get to them, start low-tech no matter how old you are.  Upfront:  all advice is geared to workable plumbing.  If you've been told your tubes are blocked, ask at least three other doctors before you believe it, and decide in advance not to take the word of any doctor as truth written in stone.   I speak as one at whom doctors laughed, or pityingly regarded while trying to palm off a prescription for Zoloft or a recommendation to see a fortune teller described as "really like a witch?  She will help you to accept? That at your age you can't possibly?"
Finally, trust your own hunch before you listen to me or anybody else.

My three methods:

(1) Lots of passion--and a bottle of Dom Pérignon helps.  If you're doing it on the ovulation stick schedule, it's no fun.  When it's no fun, it's not all that fertile, unless you're sixteen.

(2) Antibiotics:  I went to the King of Antibiotic treatment, Dr. Attila Toth of New York City, whose  theory that hidden infections--not old eggs--cause infertility appeals to me immensely.  My second two children arrived after my husband and I were treated by him.  Nearly all fertility doctors prescribe oral antibiotics:  Dr. Toth treats with intravenous antibiotics and does a lavage of the uterus with antibiotics.

(3) Traditional Chinese Medicine, including acupuncture.  Americans take note:  If you try this, go to a Chinese person who was trained in China.  If you're living in Europe, everybody knows about this stuff, so you're fine with a non-Chinese doc.

And finally, the method to avoid:  "ART" or "Assisted Reproductive Technology" including but not limited to IVF, donor eggs, megadoses of hormones or drugs like Clomid that force the ovaries to cough up eggs.  A general cleanout with antibiotics is one thing; an assault on the system with hormones and high-tech is in my considered opinion the road to problem children and cancer.   Never forget the untimely death of Wendy Wasserstein, whose high-tech quest for a child may well have caused the cancer to which she succumbed

I'd be happy to post much, much more on this, if there is interest.


  1. hi, I just wrote to your post of 1.14.13 - love this article and want to hear more one this topic!

  2. Hello--I would highly recommended Dr. Toth. Women who have had six to ten IVFs come to him and are helped to get pregnant--often they have an infection that was never properly diagnosed. See his website: www.thefertilitysolution.com
    He is on East 79th street in New York

  3. Sorry that website is fertilitysolution.com

    without "the"