3 ways to Improve Egg Quality
By Dr. Ryan Funk, Dr.TCM, FABORM on Tue, Mar 05 2019
A common diagnosis given to patients trying to conceive is that of poor ovarian reserve, sometimes known as diminished ovarian reserve. This condition is diagnosed when a woman's egg count (ovarian reserve) is low or comparatively low for her age. A Women's egg reserve started when they were born and will not produce more eggs throughout their lifetime. This means we need to protect the egg reserve as best we can throughout our lives. In many of these cases, there are things which can be done to help improve their chances of conception. At Acubalance we call this nourishing the soil before planting the seed.
With both men and women, we cannot ignore our age. The number of years that have passed will negatively impact both sperm and eggs. What we can do is to help create an environment which is optimal to our fertility. Eggs go through a 3-4 month maturation process before being released with ovulation (or retrieved with IVF). We are able to influence these eggs during this recruitment time period. If we are under high stress, not getting enough sleep, eating a poor diet and lack of exercise our egg quality will be negatively affected. If during this time period we are in an ideal state of health the eggs maturing can reach their genetic potential. Adequate blood flow, optimal sleep, low-stress hormones and a highly nutritious diet all help us achieve this state.
I wanted to write about 3 ways that women can help optimize their chances of conceiving and improving egg quality after being diagnosed with poor ovarian reserve
Supplements are generally the easiest and most widely used ways to support egg quality. One of the most well known and studied nutritional supplement is Coenzyme Q10. This nutrient is naturally found in the body but just like our fertility, CoQ10 declines with age. It is responsible for the creation of energy within each of our cells. This energy is called ATP and is directly involved in our fertility and egg quality. As CoQ10 declines with age so does egg quality. By improving and increasing our ATP at the ovary it will positively impact the developing eggs. CoQ10 is an antioxidant that also protects our cells from damage as well as supports our metabolism. It's a remarkably useful supplement and very commonly used in many fertility treatment plans for both men and women.
At Acubalance we tailor our supplement protocols to each individual. Many will include CoQ10 but there are other supplements which also offer support to patients with poor ovarian reserve. The Acubalance Naturopath also offers nutritional IV's to support our patients trying to conceive. To learn more about Nutritional IV's follow this link to see if it's right for you.
This treatment is unique as it is able to support the body in several different ways which greatly influence egg development. When done consistently over several treatments acupuncture has been shown to increase blood flow, decrease inflammation, regulate the nervous system and normalize Hormones within the body. Blood flow is one of the most important variables to support fertility. Like CoQ10, Blood flow also decreases as we age. The blood coming into the reproductive areas brings nutrients and oxygen which is needed to create the best environment possible. This blood flow also removes normally occurring waste from cellular metabolism which occurs in the reproductive tract. Acupuncture improves this blood flow.
Laser LLLT - Photobiomodulation - Laser
Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT) has been used for a long time in the treatment of a variety of disorders. More recently it has been used to help support both men and women having trouble conceiving. LLLT works in a specific way which supports our fertility by improving cellular health. Here are 3 examples of how LLLT can help: 1 - it helps improve mitochondrial function and ATP production. (ATP is the energy needed in the development of follicles/eggs). 2 -Blood Flow - LLLT supports a process called Angiogenesis. This is the creation of new blood vessels to areas that may be lacking blood flow. 3 - Reduces Oxidative Damage and decreases inflammation.
If you are trying to conceive and have been diagnosed with poor ovarian reserve the above suggestions can give you an edge to improve your chances of having a child. As these changes improve the environment your eggs are developing in it can help with natural conception as well as procedures like IVF. To learn more about the Acubalance approach to fertility please call to book a 15-minute phone Q&A or read some of the links below.
LINKS to more information:
Best of Health
Dr. Ryan Funk
Doctor of Chinese Medicine