If you haven’t heard, It Starts With The Egg by Rebecca Fett has been hailed as a life-changing book for women who are trying to conceive. In fact, I think it should be required reading for any woman who wants to be a mother some day, no matter how far off in the future that may be.
As you go through the pages, there are so many things worth sharing, but I’ve narrowed it down to just ten.
1) A healthy pregnancy starts with a healthy egg.
Egg quality is the biggest factor in determining whether a fertilized egg will continue to form into a blastocyst, embryo, and eventually a thriving baby. Knowing your fertile window is important, but no number of ovulation predictor kits will make up for a poor quality egg.
2) The most important phase in the maturation of an egg cell are the ninety days before ovulation.
Although women are born with all of the eggs she’ll ever have, chromosomal abnormalities do not accumulate over the course of 30 or 40 years, but rather occur in the two to three months before ovulation.
3) Chromosomal abnormalities are the single leading cause of early miscarriages and failed IVF cycles.
Even though chromosomal abnormalities naturally increase with age, we can also do a lot through our diet and lifestyle to increase egg quality to maximize our chances of conception.
4) A prenatal vitamin is good for both you AND your partner.
Taking a prenatal vitamin three months before trying to conceive has been shown to prevent birth defects, restore ovalation, as well as reduce the risk of miscarriage. Taking a daily multi-vitamin specifically designed for their needs is also one of the best things men can do to improve their sperm quality, especially after age 35.
5) We should all steer clear of BPA.
BPA is found in certain types of plastics, especially plastic food containers, as well as canned foods and paper receipts. It has been linked to chromosomal abnormalities in egg cells, early miscarriages, and birth defects.
6) What we put on our bodies matters just as much as what we put in our bodies.
Toxins in your favorite cosmetics and personal care products have a negative impact on fertility. Phthalates, typically found in anything with fragrance, have been shown to suppress the production of estrogen which in turn limits follicle growth. Women with high concentrations of phthalates in their systems are also more likely to suffer from fibroids and endometriosis.
7) Sugar harms your fertility in more ways than one.
Aside from putting a damper on your libido (more sugar equals lower sex drive), sugar also negatively impacts egg quality as well as hormonal balance. High blood sugar and insulin levels impair mitochondrial function, leaving the egg with less of the energy it needs to mature correctly without chromosomal abnormalities. Regularly including sugar in your diet can also lead to insulin resistance which has been linked to anovulatory infertility, PCOS, and increased risk of miscarriage.
8) Optimal vitamin D levels are key when trying to conceive.
Have you gotten your vitamin D levels checked lately? The majority of us are running low, so it is definitely worth asking your doctor to run a blood test. We still don’t know exactly why vitamin D is so important to fertility, but studies have found that it makes the uterine lining more receptive to pregnancy. It also plays a major role in hormone production, including those needed for reproduction.
9) CoQ10 works wonders for women over 35.
Remember when I said chromosomal abnormalities naturally increase in our eggs as we age? One of the biggest factors that influences egg quality as we age is the cell’s inability to create as much energy as it did when we were younger. CoQ10 helps cells produce more of the energy they need to complete all of the necessary processes for maturation and fertilization. Think of CoQ10 as your anti-aging remedy.
10) The egg that will be fertilized for your pregnancy, actually started inside your grandmother!
I included this last one just for fun. The development of each egg begins before a woman is even born, meaning the egg that was fertilized when you were conceived was at one point inside of your maternal grandmother! How cool is that?
Hopefully these ten takeaways sparked your interest and you’ll go on to read the full book. It is so worth it!
References: Fett, Rebecca. It Starts with the Egg. Franklin Fox Publishing, 2016.