Growing a 'good egg'
The 100 day ‘window’ for growing a heathy egg
Unlike men whose sperm develop from scratch in around 74 days, oocytes have been hibernating in the ovaries all a woman’s life. At birth a girl will have around 1-2 million oocytes that will mature into eggs. By the time of the first period they will have reduced in number to around 300,00. They then ripen and burst out of the follicle, known as ovulation, one at a time. Only one egg will be the dominant one to make its way down the fallopian tube, perhaps meeting up with the champion sperm. The remaining eggs are resorbed into the body each month. And the cycle continues…until menopause.
The window of egg development to ovulation is 100 days and is why any preconception care program should be 3-4 months long. Most chromosomal abnormalities happen just before ovulation, so you can influence the production of a heathy egg.
The benefits are not only for maximising egg health but for the mother to be in the best health possible to embark on a nine-month pregnancy, one of life’s health stress-tests! It is truly preventative health care and targets improving all factors that could affect your fertility.
Your diet – eating a clean and wholefoods preconception diet. A nutrient-dense diet that will encourage beneficial gut flora. This will, in turn, balance hormones, balance the immune system, help manage weight, improve digestion and the uptake of nutrients.
Weight management - a loss of 5-10% can improve ovulation. Obesity impacts on fertility and a BMI over 30 makes it a manageable risk factor.
Your environment – removing plastics, phthalates, environmental toxins. Making sure personal care and cleaning products are as ‘green’ as possible.
Remove environmental toxins, heavy metals and parasites. These block nutrient availability, affect sperm, DNA and cell function and are passed on to the baby in utero.
Stress levels – affects every stage of reproduction! It is so often influenced by the workplace and personal relationships.
Remove alcohol, smoking and recreational drugs.
Access filtered water and consume between 1.5-2 litres per day, adjusting for local environments and activities.
Have a medical assessment and screening and medication revision where necessary. It is a time to get chronic health conditions under control. Stabilise Diabetes Type 2 prior to conception.
Homocysteine, MTHFR gene defects, lipids, thyroid and foods sensitivities need to be checked. So, too, for hormonal health and genito-urinary and other infections.
Nutrient level status
Visit allied health professionals where appropriate.
Know your cycle, and chart it for 3 cycles. When are you ovulating and how do you know?
Men account for 50% of fertility problems, so check-ups are for both partners.
Supplement with folinic acid (not folic acid) before and during pregnancy
Women’s natal supplement – multi vitamin and mineral containing iron, magnesium, zinc, iodine, Vitamin B complex, Vitamin E. Omega 3 fish oils
Men’s fertility supplement – Vitamin B complex, Vitamins C, E, D, CoQ10, zinc, carnitine, NAC, lycopene, selenium. Omega 3 fish oils
Fitness/exercise that can be continued throughout pregnancy and beyond