Counting Eggs and Keeping Your Ovarian Reserve Healthy
Eggs are a symbol of hope, purity, fertility, and new life. To certain Asian cultures, the egg also represents good luck and wealth.
And because you may be considering your own egg supply, we want to provide information about counting your eggs.
Counting the Eggs in Our Ovarian Basket
Women are born with about 2 million eggs—and that’s it! We don’t regenerate more. Now, it might sound like a large number, but the truth is these eggs die off over time and the number gradually decreases as we age.
Which brings worry to many modern women nearing their mid-30s and beyond, as this is when there’s a steep drop in egg count.
So, if you’re curious as to how many eggs are in your ovarian basket, there are ways of finding out.
Available are the two test methods to measure your ovarian reserve:
- AFC (antral follicle count)
- AMH (anti-Mullerian hormone)
AFC is done on the third day of your cycle by transvaginal ultrasound. With this view, doctors can calculate the follicles (each containing an immature egg) of both ovaries. The AFC test will also give you an idea of how many eggs you can freeze during a single cycle, if that’s a consideration.
AMH is a protein hormone and is produced by cells inside our follicles. Therefore, a doctor can determine the AMH levels directly from your blood sample, which in turn assists in tallying your follicles and ultimately the egg count.
And here’s the benefit of this AMH test: AMH levels stay constant throughout the entire cycle, allowing the blood test to be taken at any time. So there’s no need to return to the doctor early in your cycle. You can do it then and there.
AMH is not only an indicator of how many eggs you have left, but also their quality. Here’s how to understand them:
- Healthy AMH level (1.5 – 2.5) — If you receive results anywhere along this range, they’re good, healthy numbers.
- Low AMH levels (<1) — Low levels indicate fewer eggs in the basket and may also signify low-quality. And because egg levels are low, it may also lower the chances of a successful IVF treatment.
- High AMH levels (>3) — These high levels can be a sign of PCOS. There is an abundance of eggs BUT the quality may be less than ideal.
Of course, these numbers fluctuate depending on age, so it’s important to speak with your regular physician about what they mean in relation to you. You can also reach out to us at Naturna to seek out natural approaches to optimizing ovarian reserve.
Our hope it to bring you some tips on maintaining a nutritious lifestyle to ensure long-lasting fertility to keep those eggs healthy
Be Gentle on Your Body
Nutrition affects our fertility on many levels, directly and indirectly (through hormones). And as the weather gets a bit cool, general overindulgence is a huge contributor to our overall health and lifestyle.
But as you are probably well aware of it’s hard to resist sugary treats and alcoholic beverages from time to time.
Below are 6 helpful tips:
- Reduce your toxicity exposure. Your ovarian reserve and egg quality are greatly affected by toxins and chemicals in our food and environment. Aim for filtered water, organic foods, and green cosmetics and cleaning products.
- Add dietary supplements like activated charcoal, extra probiotics, and digestive enzymes. These supplements help to rid the body of toxins and reduce inflammation that may affect egg quality.
- Consider consulting a qualified practitioner for Chinese medicine formulas (which we can prescribe in tinctures and pills) to boost ovarian function.
- Stay active during these beautiful spring days to help your body detoxify and increase healthy circulation. Do a bit of yoga in the park; especially asanas such as Shishuasana (Child’s pose) and Ustrasana (Camel pose), which aid in digestion.
- Drink alcohol with food in your belly and aim to drink less altogether. Booze is not a friend of fertility.
- Schedule an acupuncture session to rid your body of toxins and kick-up the recovery process. It also helps to de-stress after a busy holiday month.
And if you’re gonna munch on chocolate bunnies or pop a Peeps marshmallow chick every now and then, do so sparingly. (BTW, did you know Peeps makes gluten-free versions in a wide range of their products that you can special order? You’re welcome!)
Whether it’s to strengthen the eggs in your ovarian reserve or to put your body back into a healthier lifestyle routine after Easter and Passover feasts, Naturna can help correct that.
Schedule an appointment today!
Panchal S, Nagori C. Comparison of anti-mullerian hormone and antral follicle count for assessment of ovarian reserve. J Hum Reprod Sci. 2012;5(3):274–278. doi:10.4103/0974-1208.106340. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3604835/#