Egg Quality and What You Can do About it
If you are trying to conceive, you probably already know this, but it’s so fascinating that it bears repeating. You’ve had all of your eggs since before you were born. In fact, they’ve been in your ovaries since you were an embryo. This fact alone is interesting enough, but it gets better. Since your mother’s eggs were in her ovaries when she was an embryo, that means the egg which eventually became you were, at one time, in your grandmother’s uterus.
Like all cells in your body, Oocytes (eggs) are subject to natural wear and tear when exposed to the many stresses of life: acidity, inflammation, lack of oxygen and nutrients, dehydration, oxidation, aging, and decay. Cells in your body have varying life cycles depending on what tissues they are from. Some live longer than others, but in general, they are replenished throughout your life. This is not the case with oocytes: you currently have, in your ovaries, all the eggs you will ever have, and that does not change. So although quantity is set, you still have considerable influence over their quality.
Over the course of a woman’s reproductive life, the oocytes (eggs) are subject to damage: they age with the rest of the body but are not replenished. Many factors contribute to this decline, for example, decreased mitochondrial activity with a resultant decrease in ATP production; increase in reactive oxygen species (oxidative stress/inflammation); damage to cell proteins and DNA.
The good news is that the quality of those eggs can change if we improve all of these factors. The eggs are all there, but they’re not “mature” yet, so the influence you can have on their quality should not be underestimated. We can improve the quality of the eggs by optimizing the environment in which they do all of their maturation and development. In fact, the last 100 days before an egg is ovulated is the window in which we can optimize most effectively. It is for this reason that I always recommend 3-4 months of supplementation and acupuncture when trying to conceive. This is also the perfect window of care when waiting for your appointment with the fertility clinic.
During this 3-4 month window, we will use supplements to improve the egg quality. Here’s an article I wrote which outlines my three main recommendations. I also use acupuncture to improve blood flow to your reproductive organs, thus irrigating your ovaries and uterine lining with fresh, oxygenated arterial blood. I also recommend the use of low-level laser therapy (LLLT/photobiomodulation) to improve mitochondrial activity and increase ATP production necessary for egg and embryo quality.
If you have been told by a doctor that egg quality is an issue, or if you worry it may be due to age, illness, or stress, call Acubalance (604-678-8600) or book a 15-minute free phone Q&A.