In this episode, we’re discussing “Conceiving Over 40” with our guest, Dr. Beck Hoehn, a board-certified acupuncturist and herbalist based in Los Angeles. Dr. Hoehn has a wealth of experience supporting women’s wellness and fertility, and she is here to share her insights into what women over 40 need to know when trying to conceive.
The first question on many women’s minds when considering conceiving over 40 is, “Can it really be done, or is it all downhill from here?” Dr. Hoehn shares that while it may be more challenging for women over 40 to conceive, it is certainly possible with the right support. She emphasizes that fertility is not just about age but also about overall health and well-being.
Finally, Dr. Hoehn discusses what components in her practice make the biggest difference for women over 40.
Overall, this episode is a must-listen for anyone over 40 who is considering conceiving and wants to learn more about the steps they can take to optimize their fertility. Dr. Hoehn provides valuable insights into what women over 40 really need to know and offers practical advice on how to achieve their fertility goals. So tune in and join Carolina and Dr. Hoehn on this informative and empowering journey towards better fertility health.
What you’ll learn:
3:35 Can women over 40 conceive?
9:10 How the environment can affect your fertility
14:30 Traditional Chinese Medicine
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The Carolina Sotomayor Podcast is brought to you by Carolina Sotomayor and the Fertility Foundation.
Carolina Sotomayor is an Expert Womb Healer who helps women conceive by removing physiological blockages with Reiki. She is the host of the Carolina Sotomayor Podcast, a show that covers everything from fertility to postpartum to motherhood, and the creator of Fertility Foundation Collective, an online membership that helps women heal at their own pace to boost their fertility.
Carolina has served over 500 women from around the world to heal. She is passionate about helping women create their families. As a result, there are over 60 reiki babies in the world.
Fertility Foundation Collective: https://carolinasotomayor.com/membership
Carolina Sotomayor Reiki: https://carolinasotomayor.com/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carolinasotomayorreiki/
Podcast Episode Transcript
Hi, I’m Carolina, your podcast host and expert wound healer. Over the past five years, I’ve served over 500 women to remove physical blockages in their bodies. We achieve this with Reiki. I believe healing doesn’t have to be done alone, nor should it be. We will hear stories of healing methods to heal with and guest speakers covering taboo topics you won’t hear anywhere else.
Let’s continue this journey of wound healing together.
So this is episode 66. Episode 66. Oh my God. Are you serious? Yeah. This is episode 66. This is crazy. How did you get to 66? Well, just like rabbits re replicate and like a whole motherfucking module in your course. I reproduced more episodes,
Oh, the jokes are flowing. That was pretty bad, right? That was a pretty bad dad joke. , well, we do release two episodes a week. That kind of happens on a regular, consistent basis. So 66, yeah. Conceiving over 40 with Dr. Beck Cohen. You’re Dr. Beck Cohen. Just in case you didn’t know who you are today, what, what day is it?
Today is Wednesday, March 1st. So let me tell you about something before we dive into the conceiving part. I’m gonna be turning 40 this week or this month. No, no. Gosh, I can’t even remember this year. God, Carol, get it together. Ah, two months I will turn fucking 40. What is wrong with me? I can’t this month, this week, no,
May 6th is my birthday in turning 40. My me, . I’m so excited for this new decade, but my memory is shit like, obviously I can’t even remember my date of birth. But, um, , I forget that point. I was gonna tell something funny. Kids seeming over four days. This is a much requested topic and one that I think is very important to touch upon because more and more women are waiting to conceive, especially if they’re career driven or if they’re uncertain in their decision to have children.
Or also there is like a statistic that more and more women are waiting to. Get married if they even choose to get married, and you know, They’re delaying the whole like conceiving part to much later for so many multiple of reasons. So a lot of women are waiting to the end of their thirties to try to conceive or even past that, or maybe they just finally met the person they wanna have babies with.
So conceiving of her 40 is actually an important topic because it’s more and more women are finding themselves in this group, and, but there’s not a lot of answers. For women about conceiving after 40 and that’s why I have you, cuz you’re my favorite Chinese medicine doctor and I feel like you’re just like the most profound person to speak about fertility, especially in this age group.
And that’s why you’re here cuz I think you’re just amazing. Fact, fact, that’s our thing. Just in case you didn’t know, this is like our second interview and uh, that’s what we do. We just yell facts. So can women over 40 conceive or is it just all downhill and they should forget about it? Yeah, so that’s a really, really loaded question.
Thank you so much. Two parts to this, of course. Let’s do it. Let’s dive in, Dr. Hok. So there are statistics that say, according to the C D C, the average life birth rate for 35 to 39 year olds, Per thousand women is around 44.9, and in the next bracket of 10 years, that drops to around 11 people. So there is a very, very dramatic statistic that is pretty Debbie Downer in the United.
States, obviously that is gonna change with geographic location, more specificities, but to your point, it’s also culturally there’s a lot of data that reflects that we are having as a culture of starting our families later in life with maybe we’re really focused on our profession. . So that really, really can create that trying to conceive kind of bracket a little later.
And I wanted to actually do a really, really quick definition in terms of the western part of TCC and then trying to conceive in the eastern modality, which of which I’m a part of. So when we talk about kidney jing in Chinese medicine, we’re talking about the genetic material. , right? So kidney jing is our kidney essence, and that’s a concept of tcm and it refers to our vital energy and our reproductive health overall.
So in the same framework that we kind of talk about the Western model and our reproductive ability to decline, That way. We’re also talking about kidney jing in Chinese medicine. So that being said, and I’ll get to like get to the end of this in a second, . That being said, we see people all the time at our office that are trying to conceive over 35 and even later into their forties.
I love that. Just for anyone that doesn’t know, Dr. Hoen has a brick and mortar business. You specialize infertility in East LA in California, correct? Correct. And and we do see, like I said, we have a lot of people that go both natural conception over 40, and then also use IVF as part of their fertility journey.
Just keep in. That there are complications with conceiving over 40. I don’t wanna like lie or sugarcoat anything here. We want the facts, right? The facts. The facts. Let’s get in there. So yeah, so there’s a lot of risk and miscarriage and there is a risk of down syndrome, right? So if you think about it, like to your point about that study that people are trying to conceive later in life.
That is true, but like you think about like a woman is born with all of the follicles or egg cells that they’ll ever have in their lives, right at birth. So when I first started studying this medicine, I had no idea that I always thought of my ovaries as just kind of sitting in a black box somewhere near my abdomen.
That makes sense. Like I had no idea. Right. But if you think about it, that genetic material, those cells are exposed to external environmental factors and other pollutants throughout your life. So you have a history of that, those that exposure over time. So that’s what you have to consider when you’re thinking about trying to conceive over 40.
And those factors are things that maybe people are not mindful of, like fragrances of certain soaps You might use hygiene products. Feminine hygiene products when you’re in your period when you’re bleeding. And not everything in the us, the US market, and how things and products approved. This is just kind of my expertise just because of how much manufacturing experience I did in my corporate career.
Not everything that’s in those products that you consume. It’s on the box and they, the companies that are manufacturing these products are not required by FDA regulations to put everything on the box and in certain categories where you might say it’s organic, the definition or organic is not gonna be what you conceptualize in your mind or what you’re conditioned in marketing when these companies are marketing to you as the same technical regulation.
Definition of organic. So I always recommend for listeners, when you hear things like this, go do your research. Be an informed person, be an informed consumer. Understand those differences cuz I’m not gonna dive that on this, on this podcast. You could spend decades and years studying FDA regulations cuz I did.
Cuz that was my 17 year career of d. Products, even vaccines, all of that. So understand that what’s on the box may not necessarily be what you’re putting into your body. So understand also, even just that goes into supplements, like how it’s all regulated and just making sure that you’re using great products and you understand the sourcing of those products can greatly influence like what you’re talking about essentially as like exactly what you’re saying, like, Even Fabrice Fabrice has fragrance as a synthetic product and that can impact your hormones in your body.
So be careful of what in your environment. And I know that’s a big deal in your course that you have, which is the Positive pregnancy project, correct. Yeah, we go over that in a module called Prepare the Palace, which is all about how to reduce your toxic load. In terms of, to your point about the scented things, that was a really, really good thing that you brought up actually.
I love that is, generally speaking, if it has a scent, it more than likely has on some, some, some cellular level, it’ll have an impact on your fertility. So one really, really interesting persistent organic pollutant or pop is a fate. Which is present in a lot of laundry detergent, right? So even, I mean, I know we’re obviously more women’s based, like you and myself in our practices, but phs can really, really slow down testosterone levels overall in men.
Just that exposure, the testes and the reproductive organs are. Exposed to those phs over time, and we’re seeing that a lot in men. So sperm production is really, really wildly affected by just even something as basic as laundry detergent. So essentially is that I know that people who are really into perfumes, this is very much can be, I don’t wear perfume anymore at all.
I have a lot of skin reactivity, so I don’t wear any perfume. But I know growing up in Miami scent. It’s very important. A lot of that goes directly into perfume, and if you’re dousing yourself with that, depending on how much you’re putting on perfumes that are made with more natural products are really expensive.
So just be mindful, like this is prevalent across everything. So just do your best you can to detox or make. Choices of like, what are you gonna get rid of unscented. You can use essential oils and you can use essential oils in a wise way. Educate yourself on that. Cause that’s a whole thing. What do women over 40 really need to care about besides like, I think that that’s like a whole thing.
So understanding like your environment, can you go more into that is something a woman should care about over 40. But it is in general anyway, the thing is like, uh, so you know, we talked about the notion of your reproductive organs are not in a black box. And so there is this notion of toxic load being passed down from generation to generation, from the rise of the age of chemicals, which came out of, believe it or not, post-war, world War ii, the DAO Corporation actually came up with that marketing ploy.
Right? And since then, That toxic load. So it was, it was the notion of better living through chemicals, right? So we all have this notion of germ warfare of like, we can’t coexist with germs, we have to kill them up. Like with things like bleach and stuff like that, bleach so much, we’re trying to like reduce our own toxic load.
There is that notion of when you, when you get over 40, To be really, really mindful of passing on. So there’s this generational toxic load that we’re kind of always fighting against a little bit. So it is really, really, Really important to be mindful of toxic exposure on your, from your day-to-day in your day-to-day life.
Right? So again, talking about the household chemicals and those are kinds of things to be really, really mindful of some other things around women that are cons, trying to conceive over 40. Is really, really trying to keep the estrogen and the progesterone imbalance. This is the yin and Yong of your fertility.
Right? So when we talk about toxic load, this is a good segue into this notion of endocrine disruptors and, and keeping the yin and yong imbalance, right? Because what happens is if we’re not maintaining a stable body weight and we have. Remember that the fat cells around the waste start to generate estrogen as we get older.
So we really, really wanna start thinking about maintaining a healthy weight circumference when we get older. And the other thing is, is that some of those chemicals that we were talking about previously can create almost like a mimicry. Response in the body. So a toxin will come in, an environmental toxin will come in and it’ll park on the estrogen receptor site on the cell.
And so the brain thinks that it needs to send down a signal to produce more estrogen, albeit the cell is not getting it in the body. So it’s just kind of sitting there. I always think about this kind of like. A kid parking in a Whole Foods parking lot and just playing on their telephone and not going into the store doing potentiating an action.
So when I, so we have, we. We have a preponderance of estrogen in the body relative to progesterones. So with somebody, we start to get that compounding effect of estrogen in the follicular phase as we get older and older. So we have to really, really balance out the yin and the Y of our cycle. The yin being, the estrogen effect.
And relative to that is the, the progesterone in the al phase. What components in your traditional Chinese medicine practice make the biggest difference for women over 40? Yeah, so thinking about really, really making proactive food choices around specifically the Mediterranean diet is really, really a very profoundly basic but impactful way to start improving your fertility, right?
So we’ve got lower glycemic foods, higher fiber foods, and believe it or not, this was interesting. I’m sure you, you will may say this a little bit, but high fat dairy. was also really, really successful with the Mediterranean diet as opposed to a Western style diet, right? So most of us are used to processed meats and high glycemic indexed foods and sugars and sweets.
So just starting to eliminate those right away, reducing the stress response. You can do this through acupuncture guided meditation, journaling. again, talking about maintaining that healthy weight through diet and exercise is really, really important. As we move through trying to conceive over 40, I’m gonna ask you a, a hard question that wasn’t on our preparation list.
What I’ve seen is a lot of women that are applying for my next level fertility group programmer. We use Ricky to help heal the emotional triggers behind infertility. Is when I’m interviewing them. A large majority of them have tried things and quit and they, they’ve been saying that they have been trying to conceive for 2, 5, 7, even 10 years, and they don’t have a fertility plan, and then they try something and then they quit.
They try to lose weight. And then lose motivation. In your practice, have you seen a cause in why women might try something and then give up for a while or don’t prioritize coming up with a fertility plan? For me, I was thinking it was. Either they don’t have support or there’s not enough connectivity with either a community or their medical provider to help come and support them through that, or they’re lacking the feeling of worthiness to have a baby sometimes that they might quit.
I have found those to me, my observations. Have you seen anything? In your practice around women staying consistent in trying to conceive or taking action appropriately in trying to conceive if they’re not getting pregnant naturally and easily. Yes, I absolutely see I have two or three patients like this right now.
Two of them are, I work a lot in P C O S, polycystic ovarian syndrome. It is the number one thing I see. Yeah. It’s the number one thing I see. It’s the number one hardest thing to battle. Right? And so it’s like those women have been, we don’t really have a lot of ways to. Uh, P C O S, it’s a syndrome. It’s not even considered a pathology in a Western model, right?
And so these people get tossed around and they don’t really get the right. Transformational, nutritional things that they need and coaching, right? So there’s almost a yo-yo effect around it. So I, I see the two that I’m kind of watching right now because I’m trying to figure out what it’s behaviors that create people to fall off like that, make people fall off a plan.
right? It’s not the person themselves, right? So for example, behaviors, the person, like I’m thinking of now, like we got them pumped up to start, like they had a customized meal plan. We went over their labs, we talked about all of the supplements that they should be taking and how to take them. Started talking to them through their cortisol response and regulating their cortisol response, right?
And so like five treatments in those people were killing it. They were, they were doing so well and then all of a sudden they felt un they had enough energy, right? And they felt like they had this like very like high, high all of a sudden. And then the next week they came in and then they went back to this person, went back to work and started doing three jobs and like crazy overtax themselves and then fell into this like slump of depression, which was really, really intriguing.
I was like, what happened? Right. So it was just creating and dedicating the time and the energy and creating the priority around this being something to be tenacious about, to have that atomic habit, so to speak. No, I agree with you. How can people work with you, and where can they find you on the internet and social media?
Well, I’m always on your show,
you’re my favorite person to interview.
It does help that we have amazing chemistry together
So we, I think fertility is hard. You need to have as many laughs as you can, whether you’re the person supporting people in it or the person going through it. It’s important to remember to have to grasp onto the moments where you can laugh, especially with people that you. 100%. And likewise, I feel the same way.
It’s, it’s a, it’s a hard emotional load for the provider, but also for the woman. Right. It’s like you’re, especially for the woman. Yes. Yeah. Everyone around you is getting pregnant, like you’re afraid. The one thing that is so scary is like, you’re afraid your, your partner’s gonna leave you. Like all of these things are really like whenever you can laugh.
Laugh and find your tribe is would be like my ultimate advice. . So I’m a Los Angeles based fertility expert. I’m on the east side of Los Angeles, Caroline, I already said that, but you can always find me on my new brand, Dr. Beck Cohen, on Instagram. And then we’re gonna give your listeners the Get Pregnant guide so that they can learn how to track.
We’ll drop it in the show notes. Yeah. Yeah. And what’s your website? Yeah, so Dr. Back Owen is, has just launched today, and then you can always find me really website www.my wellness.com. And we’re excited to launch the Positive Pregnancy Project, which is my online program for fertility, and that starts at the end of March.
So that’s pretty exciting. It’s a big deal. It includes coaching with you as well. Yeah, we get, there’s a ton of coaching. There’s precision medical hormone testing that’s very, very sensitive. And then a new leader in fem tech has just joined our program, so I’m super excited about that. I love that. I love your positive pregnancy project because it’s unlike anything I’ve seen offered in the fertility space or even in the coaching space.
I have never seen like testing fertility expert like yourself. That is like an active practicing. Chinese medicine doctor that specializes in this. And also, uh, like a hybrid word, you have video modules where it’s such a really inclusive way of learning and getting women results, as in to move them towards pregnancy and have an empowered experience.
So if you’re interested in that, that’ll be linked to the show notes you need to go and, Dr. Beck Owen is the real deal and I am obsessed with her. So thank you so much for being here, Dr. Beck, and I hope you have the best day. It was an honor to connect and serve you this week. If you were a spiritually curious person wanting to conceive, inhale blockages in your fertility, click the link in the episode description to learn more about the Fertility Foundation collective.
Until next time, my friend know you are love.