More recently everyone knows someone within their close circle that is struggling with fertility. There are many reasons as to why someone can have trouble conceiving. With both men and women, unfortunately we cannot ignore our age. The number of years that have passed can negatively impact both sperm and eggs. We can help create an optimal environment for successful fertility. Women’s eggs go through a 3-4 month maturation process before being released with ovulation (or retrieved with IVF). You are able to influence these eggs during this time period. Everyone wants their eggs to be youthful, supple, and with plenty of water. As we age, women’s eggs tend to become more dry in consistency and be more sensitive to their environment. If you are under high stress, not getting enough or poor quality sleep, eating a poor diet and lack of exercise our egg quality will be negatively affected. If during this time period we are in an ideal state of health the eggs maturing can reach their full potential. Adequate blood flow, optimal sleep, low-stress hormones and a highly nutritious diet all help us achieve this ideal fertility state.

1. Supplements are generally the easiest and most widely used ways to support egg quality. A well known and studied nutritional supplement is Coenzyme Q10. This nutrient is naturally found in the body but just like our fertility, CoQ10 declines with age. It is responsible for the creation of energy within each of our cells. This energy is called ATP and is directly involved in our fertility and egg quality. As CoQ10 declines with age so does egg quality. By improving and increasing our ATP at the ovary it will positively impact the developing eggs. CoQ10 is an antioxidant that also protects our cells from damage as well as supports our metabolism. It’s a remarkably useful supplement and very commonly used in many fertility treatment plans for both men and women by practitioners all over the world.

I love to work with women to create great protocol with the benefits of acupuncture for fertility. Many women under my care will take CoQ10 as part of their supplement/ herbal protocol to improve their egg quality and overall fertility. Please let me know, if you are interested in getting to know about how you can improve your egg quality and fertility.

2. I know this one is going to sound incredibly obvious to everyone, but everyone needs a reminder – drink more water. Drinking more water may seem obvious, however, I cannot tell you how often at the office I have to encourage women to drink their daily recommended amount of water. There are so many reasons to drink more water and improving your fertility is another fantastic reason to drink another glass. As I was explaining before, women’s eggs begin to get drier with age and you want them to be as moisturized and supple as possible when conception takes place. The very basic action of drinking water is very helpful to your overall egg quality. There are also so many more reasons to drink water daily. Here are a few reasons to drink more water: prevents headaches, increases your brain power, promotes healthy weight management, flushes out toxins, improves your complexion and improves your overall mood. Dehydration can really affect your brain and body in negative ways. Not drinking enough water can decrease your overall cognitive and motor skills, can make you more sensitive to pain and affect your memory. Next time, you are thinking about not refilling your water bottle, please go ahead and refill away since it will improve your overall fertility.

3. Many of my patients really do not like this last suggestion… However, I highly recommend it even when women roll their eyes at me or have major anxiety about it. I highly recommend quitting coffee to improve your overall egg quality and fertility. Coffee is a natural diuretic that drains your body of water. Now if coffee can possibly have the side effect of causing some dehydration – imagine what it can do to your cells and eggs over time. Coffee is also even more drying because its temperature property is very hot. Over time, coffee due to its temperature being very hot will cause more dryness in your body and eggs. This can cause your eggs/ follicles over time to become more dry, sensitive and slightly brittle. These possible side effects of coffee are generally not ideal for my patients that are trying to conceive. Quitting coffee over time will help your cells and follicles hydrate more easily. If you also increase your water intake and quit your daily coffee – that will create a more hospitable environment for healthy, hydrated and nourished follicles. When you create a healthier hydrated follicle – the sperm can more easily penetrate it. Furthermore, if you have a healthier hydrated follicles then you can also have a good quality embryo upon conception. We all know that one woman that can eat McDonald’s fast food with a Venti coffee and is pregnant and with two kids in tow. She is not my patient and for some reason is highly fertile. I usually recommend that when a woman is ready to switch to herbal tea or caffeine free tea – they should wean off of coffee. I recommend weaning of in 10 days. First start with dropping to half of what you were drinking for 3 days then drop to ¼ of what you were drinking for another 3 days and then a few sips for a couple of days before completely stopping. I do not want anyone to have intense withdrawal symptoms – this method has been helpful for most of my patients. Next time, you are thinking about grabbing a cup of coffee and are trying to conceive please think about your overall goal of improving fertility. 

If you are trying to conceive or have been diagnosed with poor ovarian reserve the above suggestions can improve your chances of having a child. As these changes improve the environment your eggs are developing in it can help with natural conception as well as procedures like IUI/ IVF. To learn more about how often one should have acupuncture for fertility and the benefits of acupuncture for fertility please call to book a 15 minute consultation.

Adrianne Ortega

Acupuncturist and Herbalist, Alma Acupuncture

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