Why do Your Eggs Age Before the Rest of Your Fertility Does?
Hitting forty, trying to conceive and fearful of your fertility? Cue furrowed brows and quizzical head tilts. Sure, you look and feel about 25 – but just try telling that to your eggs or your doctor. Aging eggs with a fail-grade AMH put the heart crossways on otherwise young and sexy intending mothers. I know, because they sit across from me every day in my office – their pain is palpable. Far from old but held hostage by failing eggs. Egg quality plummets after forty in otherwise fit, healthy women.
Well, I have excellent news to share with you this very morning after a long spell away from the keyboard. All this is about to change for the better. I’ve often wondered why we’ve accepted this aging egg dictat for so long.
An American university is in the news now for all the right reasons.
Researchers at Yale University have identified a cause of egg aging which may bring major changes to fertility treatment as we know it.
The study, published in the journal Molecular Human Reproduction, discovered that egg damage and raging is linked to oxygen deprivation.
According to study lead Pasquale Palmzio – professor at the Dept. of OBGYN & Reproductive Science and director of Yale Fertility Centre – ‘Follicular hypoxia triggers a cascade of biochemical changes in the Cumulus Cells. This may ultimately affect chromosomal abnormality seen in the eggs of older patients.’
Variations in the microclimate of the ovary and reduced oxygen supply to the developing follicles are likely to impact ovarian raging.
He continues: ‘Our data show that Cumulus Cells from older women are affected by chronic exposure to suboptimal oxygen levels, as indicated by an increased expression of hypoxia induced genes when compared to the same cells collected from younger patients.’
‘Our findings shed light on the mechanism responsible for egg aging,’ he reveals. ‘We have always been intrigued by the questions ‘Who is the time keeper of egg raging?” and ‘How are the eggs informed by the biological clock?’ Now we know that changes in RNA of the cumulus cells trigger by raging induced hypoxia are the key messengers. The ability to screen cumulus cells for O2 deprivation may help us identify healthier eggs, modify ovarian stimulation protocols and ultimately lead to more successful fertility treatments.’
How to love your ovaries to fertility
If you feel your eggs are gasping for a breath of air, here’s a few things to consider.
Oxygen reaches your ovaries via the bloodstream, carried in blood vessels.
Red blood cells need to be able to haul enough of the good stuff to where it works. We’re talking iron and haemoglobin levels here, often lacking even in the best diets gobbled on the run.
Decent supplements will do the job for you and you’ve probably heard of pre-Conceive by now. Worth every cent. Why? Quality counts every time. pre-Conceive gets Oxygen to where it works best inside your ovaries. There’s no point stuffing yourself with nutrients that you simply pee out, is there? I asked Mark Whitney, MD at Pillar Health, to explain how it all works.
How does it work?
L-Arginine is a prime mover in plumping the blood vessels of the ovaries to improve Oxygen uptake, and helps to detox as well. pre-Conceive pairs it with citrulline for extra impact. Vitamin C and MSM keep the blood vessels strong and fit, to pump oxygen-rich blood to the ovaries 24 hours a day. Vitamin E and Omega 3 prevent the blood getting too sticky and keep it flowing smoothly.
“In independent studies, arginine and citrulline supplementation improves ovarian function, thicker endometrium and higher antioxidant status, all leading to increases in fertility parameters. L-arginine is an amino acid shown in studies to increase ovarian response, endometrial receptivity and pregnancy rates in IVF patients who supplemented large doses. (Published in Human Reproduction 1999)”
‘In many respects,’continues Mark, ‘improving circulation can lead to a healthier reproductive system and supply more nutrients for the ovaries to function more efficiently. L-citrulline is included to make Argine work harder and longer – twelve times longer, in fact!’
Are you really fit?
The blood vessels need to be able to get into the ovaries, without being squashed. Muscle tightness constricts blood flow. That’s why I recommend clients make sure their inner pelvic muscles are relaxed and toned. You need a skilled fertility muscle therapist for this. Anyone who’s ever been in stirrups, or had a series of gynae procedures, a miscarriage or a previous birth needs to reset their pelvic muscles back to zero.
Consider a specific Yoga-type exercise programme with plenty of stretching… and rest time afterwards.
Learn to dance properly! The full Dirty Dancing if you want. Seriously. Better still get your other half to do it with you. Dancing is fun and sexy, it sets pulses racing and feels great!