“I’m 45 and desperate for a third child”: TV presenter Kate Garraway says she’ll always regret not starting a family earlier
23 May 2013

In a recent article in the Daily Mail, TV presenter Kate Garraway discusses her desire for a third child at the age of 45. She had her first child at 38 and says she regrets not having children at an earlier age, which is why she has chosen to support the First Response Get Britain Fertile Campaign. Here Dr Zhai comments on the options available for women in their 40s who are struggling to conceive.

Dr Zhai comments: “In the article, TV Presenter Kate Garraway says she fell pregnant easily at 38 and then again at 42, but is now struggling to conceive her third child at age 45. She thinks she will not be able to have the baby she desperately wants, because she is now too old. We don’t know the reason why Kate decided not to start trying for her first baby until she was 38, but many women are having children later on in their lives, due to many differing factors such as financial, finding the right partner, education etc. However, at The Zhai Clinic, we successfully treat many women in their 40s. In fact, 33% of all the pregnancies achieved at the clinic are by women between the ages of 40 to 43- a figure that is not much less than pregnancies for women under the age of 35. 

Many women believe that assisted fertility treatments are their only options for getting pregnant, but this is not the case and The Zhai Clinic is currently urging the British Fertility Society, government and relevant health care departments to review the British fertility treatment recommendation to the public. IVF may help to increase the chance of bypassing fertilisation for those who have blocked fallopian tubes, but it does not take into account .the quality of the egg and sperm. Embryo and sperm abnormalities are problems that increase with age. One quarter of embryos are abnormal in a woman’s early 30s, but this drastically increases to three quarters by the time a woman reaches her late 30s and early 40s. If there are abnormalities, the embryo will not implant in the womb, or if it does, the foetus will not go to full term. This is why it is important to improve the quality of the eggs and sperm first before having IVF treatment.

At The Zhai Clinic, our patients fail on average 3.8 assisted fertility treatments before consulting us for alternative treatment methods. The majority of the patients fail to conceive through assisted fertility treatments, because this treatment is unable to overcome the egg and sperm quality issue.

In comparison, TCM treatments such as acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicines can help improve the quality of the egg and sperm while promoting a healthy uterine environment for implantation. The reproductive system should not be viewed as separate from the rest of the body. The reproductive organs need to be working properly in order to conceive. They need to be in good form, free from obstruction and nourished through a healthy lifestyle, moderate exercise and a reliable treatment programme such as TCM to correct the human body function. 

Women in their 40s who are struggling to conceive need to know that the quality of the egg and sperm is the key- without a healthy egg and healthy sperm, you won’t be able to make a healthy embryo. Think of it like baking a bun in the oven! You wouldn’t use a dirty bowl or eggs that have passed their sell by date to make the bun mixture, and then you wouldn’t put the buns into an oven that is broken. It just wouldn’t work. This is why only focusing on implantation with assisted fertility treatments, and not on the quality of the reproductive systems, will not lead to a successful pregnancy. If Kate Garraway does wish to try for another baby, I highly-recommend TCM treatments to get her and her husband in the optimal shape to conceive.”