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Optimizing Fertility and Egg Quality with Lifestyle and Nutr

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Beth Heller

on 13 July 2014

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Transcript of Optimizing Fertility and Egg Quality with Lifestyle and Nutr

What Determines Egg Quality?
Boosting Your E.Q.I.Q *
A new paradigm is emerging that looks at the "environment" in which eggs are developing.
The Great Egg Debate
An Integrative Strategy
An integrative approach to a diagnosis of low ovarian reserve or poor egg quality includes:

Discussion with a Reproductive Endocrinologist to determine an appropriate timeline for lifestyle intervention

If appropriate, a 3 to 6 month period of lifestyle changes may be implemented to see if a change in the internal and external environment make a difference.
Integrative Strategy
Achieve a healthy weight
Quit smoking and limit alcohol intake
Implement stress reduction programs including yoga and meditation (yoga shown to reduce markers of inflammation and stress*)
Implement anti-inflammatory, low-glycemic, anti-oxidant rich eating plan
Consider acupuncture treatment for stress reduction, improved blood flow and hormonal balance.
Work with a holistic professional who can liaise with your physician and work towards responsible goals.
Limit your exposure to environmental toxins (avoid phtalates, BPA, added hormones)
Explore nutritional supplementation with a skilled nutrition professional.
There are no guarantees...
But there is evidence that other things besides our age may be impacting our ability to conceive.

At Pulling Down the Moon we are committed to working with your fertility specialist to explore all the potential avenues of treatment for your condition.

For a consult contact us at:
Age is the major determinant of Egg Quality.
: diet, weight, inflammation and oxidative stress
: chemicals, smoking
With age a woman's eggs become less responsive to the hormonal signals that "drive" the egg maturation process. Key hormones include:

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH)
Reproductive Endocrinologists can do tests to determine levels of these hormones as well as a test called Antral Follicle Count (AFC) an ultrasound assessment of potential follicles.
"Keep in mind: It is a total misunderstanding or misinterpretation to say that a low AFC or low AMH indicates that you are infertile, that your ovaries won’t stimulate or that you won’t have good eggs! Taken together with an elevated FSH, these measurements serve as red flags from a time point of view. It means that you may not have as much time to get pregnant using your own eggs as you might have thought. Since we cannot predict when you will run out of time, time becomes a critical consideration."
~ from montereybayivf.com
: includes things like inflammation, oxidative stress, blood sugar regulation, dietary intake of certain nutrients, etc.
chemicals like BPA, phtalates and other endocrine disruptors negatively impact the
Physiological Considerations for Egg Quality
Clinical research suggests that the following physiological factors
may impact egg and embryo quality:

Oxidative Stress
Insulin Resistance
Poor Dietary Intake
Obesity (because oxidative stress, inflammation, insulin resistance,
poor diet are usually part of the obesity equation)
Alcohol and smoking
As a result, researchers and Reproductive Endocrinologists are beginning to explore how basic lifestyle factors like what we eat, how much we weigh and our exposure to harmful chemicals that could be impacting the environment in which our eggs are developing.
But...not every woman diagnosed withDiminished Ovarian Reserve is "old."
*Egg Quality I.Q.
Oxidative Stress
Environmental Toxins
Dr. Jennifer Hirshfeld-Cytron of Fertility Centers of Illinois explains how Ovarian Reserve/Egg Quality is assessed. (watch now or save for later!)
Do eggs age with women or are they in a state of suspended animation until recruitment? *
If it is the latter, then inflammation and oxidative stress, as well as diet and environmental toxins may play a much greater role that previously believed.
Caused by Free Radicals
Highly-reactive molecules that have lost an electron during a chemical reaction and roam around “stealing” electrons from other molecules
Generated by many environmental factors (see chart).
Damage to oocytes and sperm

*Gleicher et al. Reproductive Biology andEndocrinology .2011, 9:23.
Normal bodily healing process "gone wild" due to excess stress on the body's immune and repair systems.

Chronic inflammation has many causes, including overweight, diets high in sugar, omega-6 and trans-fats, excess insulin circulation, smoking and other environmental toxins and stress ~ among a host of other things.
Overweight/obesity is associated with impaired reproductive hormone function, insulin resistance and increased inflammation.
Smoking and excess alcohol intake can increase oxidative stress.
Higher levels of Bisphenol-A associated with low AMH (Souter et al. Reprod Toxicol. 2013 Dec;42:224-31.)
Higher BPA levels associated with less fertilized oocytes in IVF patients (Ehrlich et al. Hum Reprod. 2012 Dec;27(12):3583-92)
Outdoor workers exposed to urban pollutants had higher FSH (Ciarroca et al Int J Environ Health Res. 2011 Dec;21(6):391-401)
Estrogenic compounds in meat, milk and plastics can create hormonal imbalance that impacts egg development.
Organopesticides associated with reproductive hormone changes (Freire et al J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Jul;18(7):662-7)
*Yadav et al J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Jul;18(7):662-7
Full transcript