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What does “egg quality” actually mean?

The simple answer: an egg’s capability to turn into a baby. (With the help of sperm, of course!)  The complex answer: while there is no ONE true test for egg quality, there are several factors that give us an idea. Is the egg producing adequate hormones? A growing follicle (like the shell around the egg) is what MAKES estrogen. If estrogen is low, the follicle is not functioning very well, and usually indicates a low quality egg inside. This is true for progesterone as well. Is the diagnosis “unexplained infertility,” or “advanced age?” In lieu of other identifiable diagnoses, we can guess that egg quality may be playing a role in infertility. Is AMH and antral follicle count low? These...

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Intermittent Fasting and Fertility

Intermittent fasting for fertility? ⁠ ⁠Yes - BUT only for women with high fasting insulin levels. This is a simple blood test I have all my patients do. If it's high, that insulin could be getting in the way of follicle maturation, harming egg quality, and affecting placenta development. So for fertility we need to decrease it. ⁠ ⁠Fasting is an effective and simple way to lower fasting insulin levels. ⁠ ⁠HOWEVER, for women, fasting for too long is seen as a stressor by the body. ⁠ ⁠So I never recommend longer than 14 hours. 12-14 is the sweet spot. ⁠It means no calories, and no coffee (which essentially raises blood sugar).  ⁠I always check in with the patient that...

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Why All Women Who Are Trying To Conceive Should Get Their Vitamin D Level Tested

There are 300 studies on Vitamin D and fertility in humans on PubMed (a research database). Its importance has been shown for everything from menstrual cycle abnormalities, egg/embryo quality, uterine receptivity and implantation, and likelihood of conception.  Vitamin D also has a very important role with respect to progesterone:  Calcitriol (a Vitamin D precursor) helps prepare the endometrium to be receptive for embryo implantation. Moreover, it supports the implantation process and the course of pregnancy through different but similar pathways to those used by progesterone, proving to be highly synergistic. It is increasingly evident that Vitamin D provides essential support from the luteal phase through to early pregnancy and beyond.  References: PMID: 29762856, 32106980

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