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Dawit Assefa, L.Ac, MAOM – Acupuncture Fertility & Women's Clinic

A Healthier You Means A Healthier Egg


You know at the end of the day all you need is one month with one good egg.  This is what I tell my patients all the time.  Now as we get older, our ability to reproduce diminishes.  It’s nature’s way of preventing us from
reproducing.  In general, nature likes when the healthy and strong reproduce.  It’s nature’s way of protecting the gene pool as healthier and stronger individuals will tend to have healthier and stronger offspring.

However, obviously, just because we get older does not mean we can’t reproduce, especially if we stay HEALTHY.  If you are healthy, then whatever egg or sperm you produce will also be healthier despite being older.  In this article I want to talk about the factors that we must take into account when addressing egg/sperm quality and what are things we can do to improve it.

Being healthy is comprised of several factors.  Diet, stress management, lifestyle and genetics all play a part in your general health and well being.  I have had many patients over the years who have improved their fertility by simply changing their diet and losing weight.  Being over weight really stacks the deck against you so maintaining a healthy diet and weight will go a long ways to making you healthier.  Remember if you’re healthier, whatever comes from you (egg/sperm), will be healthier.   If you are overweight, losing weight and exercising are 2 important things that must be incorporated into your lifestyle if you wish to conceive.  In addition, a diet with healthy fats can be beneficial for the endocrine and reproductive system.  I go over this in more detail in my article on diet and fertility on my blog.

Our modern rat race is having people run around like a chicken with its head cut off.  Everyone is so stressed out, worried and anxious.   Being like this will not improve your chances of conception.  What it does do is increase your cortisol levels in your body.  Cortisol is what is released when you’re under stress.  High cortisol levels can disrupt the body’s immune system, digestive system and reproductive system.  I have seen many patients who can have very painful cycles, irregular cycles and even no cycles due to high cortisol levels.   So having a good work/life balance can have a huge impact on keeping cortisol levels down.

When addressing lifestyle, what I’m talking about is the use of substances that can diminish fertility.  Alcohol, drugs and tobacco use should be avoided when a couple is working on improving their fertility.  Replace these bad habits with positive habits like moderate exercise and a healthy diet and you’ll see how much better you feel.  You feel better because you’re healthier.  A healthier you means whatever comes from you will be healthier and viable.

Finally, I’d like to touch on a topic that I don’t think is discussed often enough.  Genetics plays a vital part in determining the chances of success when trying to conceive.  Some people just have stronger reproductive ability than others.  Basically, what I’m saying is that some people are just built stronger than other people.  Although it’s rare, I’ve seen some patients in their 40’s who have high fertility despite their age.  On the other hand, although it’s rare, I’ve seen women in their early 30’s who are perimenopausal.   I’m sure one day in the near future we’ll figure out the genetic codes that makes this happen but until then we need to understand the role genetics play in fertility.  If you have good genes and you’re not dealing with chronic illness, it is generally easier to get you pregnant than someone who doesn’t have the best genes or is dealing with chronic illness.

So in summary, if you want to improve your egg/sperm quality you should first take away the bad.  Remove stress, bad habits, unhealthy food and start exercising and eating better.  This by itself can make a huge difference in improving egg/sperm quality.  We can’t change your genetics but Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs will help delay/prevent conditions that you may have a predisposition for.  Getting you and keeping you healthy will make all the difference in the world to help with conception.

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