How I Finally Became A Mother At 42 — Without IVF
In her early 40s, Diane decided she wanted to have a baby. But her clinical tests showed a natural conception would be nearly impossible. Discouraged, Diane picked up my book “WomanCode” and was inspired to follow my program. After making a few key changes to her lifestyle, she became pregnant quickly and naturally. Today, she's the mother of a healthy 3-month-old baby. With her permission, I'm sharing her story here:
I was 41 years old when my husband and I started seriously talking about having kids. Given my age, I decided to visit the gynecologist first to ensure everything was OK. There, my doctor tested my follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels, which gives a general read on a woman’s egg supply and fertility. I was told I had a FSH level of 15. Translation: My ovaries were barely producing good eggs—and I had just a 5 to 8% chance of conceiving naturally.
This really hit me hard. At the time, I hadn’t even heard of FSH levels, and the discussion with my doctor was heavy and curt: She simply handed me the name and number of the local IVF specialist. I couldn’t even get a word in. After a few days of processing the news, I called back my gynecologist and asked if it might be possible to somehow improve my levels. No, she said, they can't be changed. I was devastated.
After all, here’s this experienced doctor telling me that my case is hopeless without IVF. I waited too long. I’m 41, and it’s over.
"It's like I’m looking at the results of a completely different person,” the gynecologist told me.
For the next year, I went about my business as usual. Motherhood was now on the back-burner, and I wasn’t paying attention to my diet at all. I live in an area of Southern California with great craft breweries, and every weekend was full of beer—along with lots of meat and cheese.
This continued until August 2013, when I was browsing at a local bookstore and spotted the cover of “WomanCode: Perfect Your Cycle, Amplify Your Fertility, Supercharge Your Sex Drive, and Become a Power Source." For whatever reason I decided to pick it up, and quickly read through the fertility section. The book suggested a natural, food-based program for regulating hormones and boosting fertility. I decided to try it.
Over the next few weeks, I cut sugar, cheese and gluten from my diet and said goodbye to wine and beer. I signed up for the corresponding Fertile FLO program and began tracking my ovulation. When my 42nd birthday rolled around soon after, I decided to commit to the program exactly as written for a full 90 days. And after those three months, I went back to the same gynecologist.
I told her that I had been following a fertility-boosting diet specifically for my menstrual cycle, and asked her to check my levels again. Not wanting to get my hopes up, she was hesitant. After all, I was a year older by then, and she had never heard of the diet. But she drew blood for the test, and called me up two days later.
The results? My FSH was now at 7.5—the level of a healthy 33 year old. “It's like I’m looking at the results of a completely different person,” the gynecologist told me.
Still, it wasn’t completely easy sailing from there. Buoyed by the good news, I thought I had it in the bag. I became more relaxed about the diet, and gradually started eating bread and beer again. After all, I rationalized, I was still eating according to my cycle, and loading up on lots of recommended foods like buckwheat, avocados, Brazil nuts, vegetables, turmeric and cinnamon. But a few months went by, and I still wasn’t pregnant.
So, I decided to get tested again. And when I did, I was shocked to learn my FSH had shot back up to 9.8. I couldn’t believe how sensitive my hormones were—and how fast my body responded to changes. I jumped back on the program immediately, and stuck to it.
Within three months, I noticed that my PMS—which used to send me into a dark depression—disappeared, along with painful cramps and bloating. I felt better overall, and it seemed like something was working.
Two months later, I was elated to learn I was pregnant. What's more, the genetic tests came back clear, and I gave birth to a healthy baby. These days, I recommend the program to many friends with fertility problems. After all, it’s never too late to improve your health and your happiness. And it’s worth the experiment for your dream of becoming a mother."
Alisa Vitti is a women's hormone and functional nutrition expert and pioneer in female biohacking. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Vitti has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, Lifetime, and has been a regular contributor for Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, and Women’s Health. She is the founder of The FLO Living Hormone Center, the world's first menstrual healthcare platform that has helped hundreds of thousands of women around the world put their period issues like PCOS, Fibroids, Endometriosis, and PMS into remission naturally using her highly effective FLO Protocol and the FLO Balance Period Supplements, and the creator the MyFLO period app—the first and only functional medicine period tracker. She is also the author of the best-selling book WomenCode. She has presented at SXSW, TEDx, Talks@Google, Summit Series Outside, and SHE Summit and regularly trains women in the workplace on how to use her Cycle Syncing Method for greater creativity, productivity, and wellbeing at work.