Love your ovaries
Incinerated and al dente spell doom for decent chips so I parted with my old deep-fat fryer last week. Could it apply to ovaries – a built-in obsolescence? Eggs get blamed for aging – is it a deserved bad rap?
Ovaries are one of my favourite body parts, vying closely with wombs, vaginas (of course) and Fallopian tubes.
Fertility workups focus on tracking egg maturation and ovulation each month. Once the ovary pops a healthy egg – game’s over for another cycle. Concerns focus on the age of a woman’s eggs. AMH levels strike fear into women around forty. Deteriorating eggs contribute to age-related infertility, miscarriage and birth defects. Who cares how the ovary pampers an egg to maturity each month? The freshly prepped egg bursts out – sans a backward glance, wounding the ovary wall on exit. Pathologists can calculate a woman’s age by counting the number of actual scars left on her ovaries by ovulating.
Love your ovaries
Dr. Francesca Duncan, at North Western University, borrowed mice ovaries to see how ovarian scarring and inflammation affect egg health. It’s a first! A scientific study to see how egg quality is affected by the condition of the ovary. We know about inflammation. It helps heal a cut, wound or sprain. You’d never get sympathy if it wasn’t all red and swollen, would you? Only it’s not always good, especially when you can’t see it. The lining of blood vessels gets inflamed – if you’re overweight, smoke and eat too many fried vegetables – clots and plaques build up leading to heart attacks and strokes. The inner workings of the ovary are called the ‘stroma.’ Inflammation here messes with egg maturation. With new treatments and common sense maybe we can halt change inside the ovary. Getting to the ‘How’ of poor egg health.
“Our work establishes inflammation and fibrosis as hallmarks of the aging ovary and lays the foundation for considering the use of anti-inflammatory or anti-fibrotic treatments to delay or counteract the impact of reproductive aging.” Duncan 2016
“People tend to overlook that the egg grows in a complex environment. No-one looked at what happens there with age,” says Dr. Francesca Duncan, study lead. She’s associate research professor in obstetrics and gynaecology at Feinberg. “Under the microscope, eggs from reproductively young and old animals may look identical, but the environment in which they are growing is completely different,’ reveals Duncan, executive director of the Centre for Reproductive Sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.”Ovaries from reproductively old mice are fibrotic and inflamed. There’s no way this environment won’t impact the eggs growing in it. Very likely it contributes to their decrease in quality.” Her study was published in the journal ‘Reproduction’ two days ago.
Start right now
So, no need to blame your eggs and there’s lots you can do to love your ovaries for life. Think – less scratchy brillo pad and more peachy lusciousness. A super-healthy diet, along with proper supplementation, reduces inflammation. Ditching the chip-pan is a good way to love your ovaries.
Irish-owned fertility supplement ‘pre-Conceive’ is recommended by fertility doctors – and by me