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How do you like your eggs?

So, how do you like yours? I like mine plentiful and healthy! And not real (I don't actually like eggs, unless they are in a cake!)

Did you know that your ovarian reserve are your egg reserves from birth?

What does this actually mean?

In short and in non-medical terms, it means your eggs are as old as you are now, so in literal terms I'm 39 years old, so my eggs are 39 years old.

Does this matter?

In short yes.

Ovarian reserve (egg supply) is the pool of eggs (number and health) present in the ovaries at any given time.

Ovarian reserve is a term that is used to determine the capacity of the ovary to provide egg cells that are capable of fertilization resulting in a healthy and successful pregnancy.

What is AMH and why is it important to my ovarian reserve?

Most doctors and consultants will ask you to take a blood test to see what your levels of AMH (anti-Müllerian hormone) are.

It is an important fertility test to tell us about a woman's ovarian reserve as it stands today. The higher the AMH values (greater than 1 ng/mL) usually signify that a woman has a normal ovarian reserve and lower numbers (less than 1 ng/mL) may indicate a woman with a low or diminished ovarian reserve (DOR).

Does AMH really matter?

Yes and No…

So, to put things in context the higher levels of AMH, the better chance you have of conceiving (without any other factors being considered here of course!)

Did you know I had a AMH under 1 and STILL managed to conceive and go on to have twins. So, whilst numbers are important, the QUALITY is the main factor to consider.

How many eggs do I have?

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, these are the average number of eggs you have at each age:

20 weeks of gestation: 6 to 7 million oocytes (An immature egg is called an oocyte by the way!).

birth: 1 to 2 million oocytes

puberty: 300,000 to 500,000 oocytes

around age 37: roughly 25,000 oocytes

around age 51, the average age of menopause: roughly 1,000 oocytes

Wow! that sounds like loads right, well as the old age song goes, age aint’ nothing but a number, in this instance you can see the diminishing reserves as we age, so unfortunately age is a number we can't ignore here.

Ok, enough of all the gloom, what can we do? Improve what we've got right?

How long does it take to improve egg quality?

Every egg quality program takes about 90 days to make an impact. During these 90 days, the follicles are influenced by environmental and lifestyle factors. The 90 day rule is all about evaluating negative habits and making a positive change.

So, we’ve got 90 days to improve each and every egg we have in our bodies.

Improving egg quality for fertility consists of increasing nutrients, reducing or eliminating environmental toxins, and addressing daily stressors.

3 simple top tips of mine:

  1. Eat foods that support healthy hormone balance and eat the foods slowly and relaxed to aid good digestion

  • Dark green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli etc)

  • Protein (organic where possible)

  • B Vitamins and Fibre

  • Healthy nuts and whole grains

  • Reduce the amount of refined sugars, carbs and of course alcohol and caffeine

2. Reduce environmental toxins

  • Switch cleaning products for both your skin and your home to bpa (bisphenol A) and sls (Sodium lauryl sulfate) free is a great way to reduce unnecessary toxins that can cause damage and have an adverse effect on fertility

3. Improve stress reduction practices

You’re not too busy (stop scrolling)!

I don’t have the time (stop scrolling, and go to bed 10 mins earlier)

Enough with the excuses right, if you want to reduce stress you can, it's all about mindset (I can help you with simple techniques which I'll talk about at a later date)

  • Where possible introduce acupuncture (I’ll talk again on the benefits of this) or relaxing yoga

  • Read, listen to music, take a walk, talk to friends, sing in the shower, stare at the sky, WHATEVER works for you

There are so many more things you can do but the above are some really simple ones to get you going...

On my own journey I was very strict with the 3 month rule. As an ‘older’ lady in fertility terms I wanted to give myself the best possible chance of my eggs to being the best quality they could be. It was tough at times, (especially in Ibiza for my friends 40th! I did have a glass or two of red wine and still had the best time, just didn’t go crazy) however hard it was, I felt SO good going into my IVF cycles that it almost became easy and then became a part of my life.

Overall, remember this, unfortunately we can’t control our ovarian reserve but we CAN control the quality of our eggs.

I only had two eggs collected and only one made it, that one little quality egg produced my twin girls.

Don’t give up and remember how do you like your eggs?

Hels x

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