Infertility affects 1 in 3 couples in North America and with the immense advances of IVF technology and better knowledge of blood work, more and more couples are being diagnosed with poor egg quality as their source of infertility. Now the number one reason for poor egg quality is due to poor ovarian reserve and advanced maternal age. But more and more I am seeing women being identified with low ovarian reserve (low AMH levels in their blood work) resulting in poor egg quality in their late 20’s and early 30’s. Not what we consider advanced maternal age.
Over a lifetime, there are all kinds of detrimental factors that can negatively impact egg quality. Some examples are:
- Chronic Stress
- Chronic Illness
- Free radicals damage to cells
Once an egg becomes damaged, it is considered abnormal. Abnormal eggs cannot be healed or repaired. But we can affect the eggs in the recruitment phase. If we help to decrease stress levels by helping the body manage stress better and reduce free radical damage to the eggs we are able to improve the eggs quality. The body recruits eggs to be released 3 months before. So to help with egg quality, treatment should be started at least 3 months before trying to conceive or 3 months before an IUI or IVF procedure.
Most important factors to incorporate to improve egg quality
Acupuncture is one way to decrease stress. It helps your body by promoting blood flow, counteracting the tightening of muscles in response to stress, driving more blood flow into the uterus and most importantly it calms the mind. Because it is often our mental stress that impacts our physical stress response.
Antioxidants are the next best addition to your regime to help support better egg quality. Antioxidants will help reverse the damage that stress has on our cells, including our eggs. Antioxidants that are traditionally used for egg quality include:
- CoQ10 and PQQ
- Acai Berries, Acai berries being the highest source of antioxidants.
The Highest Source of Antioxidants – Acai Berries
There are many health benefits to be gained from eating Acai berries on a regular basis. The acai berry is indigenous to the rainforests of South America. In many cases experts refer to the acai berry as one of the healthiest berries on the planet. This is largely because the acai berry is a tremendous source of antioxidants.
The main purpose of antioxidants is to prevent or inhibit damage to cells in the body, caused by oxidants. An oxidant, or oxidizing agent, is a free radical that can either come from outside the body, or be produced within it. Oxidants are capable of attacking cells in the body, that can result in damage to the cell, and in the case of fertility damage to our eggs.
Therefore, it is important to have enough antioxidants in the body to provide the best cellular protection.
One factor affecting the quality of an egg, is the amount of energy it is able to produce. Energy within a cell is generated by mitochondria, which are sometimes referred to as the “powerhouse of the cell”. This energy production will diminish over time. After ovulation, an egg is responsible for producing its own energy for a 7-day period. This can be a problem if an egg is fertilized and doesn’t have enough sustainable energy to carry it through to the time of embryo implantation. Acai berries can help provide increased energy as well as the addition of CoQ10 and PQQ both of which have antioxidant properties and have the ability to improve cellular health by re-energizing mitochondria health.
Benefits of Acai Berries for Improving Egg Quality
Acai berries preserve egg quality by helping prevent damage to the egg before fertilization even happens. This damage is typically caused by exposure to free radicals over the years. Acai berries provide the antioxidants needed to combat these free radicals.
Other Advantages of Acai berries include:
- Heart health
- Cellular health
- Boosted immune system
- Anti-aging effects
- Improved cognitive function
- Increased libido
- Weight regulation
- Helps the body resist foreign organisms
Acai Berries are not a traditional component to improving egg quality but run on the same basis as the more commonly used CoQ10, used by fertility clinics for years. Both have high levels of antioxidants protecting egg health as well as energizing cells. Enabling embryos in the early dividing phase to have the energy stores to divide and implant. Acai Berries however have the highest potency, providing a much larger source of antioxidants. Acai berries are an essential addition to promoting health, enhancing fertility and improving chances of conceiving.