Nutrition Check, Richmond

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updated on 05/06/2019


By the time every female is born, the number of eggs she will produce in her lifetime has already been determined. This is because our entire egg supply (technically referred to as primary oocytes) is manufactured when we are embryos ourselves, from which point they are held in suspended animation until called upon from (puberty until menopause) to be matured and be ovulated. At birth the number of eggs we have can range from as many as 4 million to 400, 000, but by the time we reach puberty this number has declined and on average 40, 000.
It is estimated that over a woman’s reproductive lifetime she will mature and ovulate about 400 eggs. The menopause marks the point at which our egg supply is exhausted.
Ovarian reserve relates to the number of eggs an individual woman has, which for some is less than others. As we get older, it follows that ovarian reserve will decline and possibly egg quality too.

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Although this can feel depressing, improved nutritional status can positively influence these factors and reproductive health. Ovarian reserve may be estimated by monitoring the levels of the protein Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) which is produced by the ovaries in response to egg cell maturation. This protein is often found to be low in women with low ovarian reserve as it signals that few primary oocytes are being matured. If ovarian reserve is something that concerns you a test can be arranged to measure your AMH levels, and if needs be this can be followed up with a nutrition consultation to look at ways to optimise egg quality and production. This may include investigating hormone production and reception, considering protein and essential fatty acid intake, assessing nutrient status and screening for heavy metals.
In 2008, just under 40, 000 women in the UK underwent IVF treatment, an 8% increase from the previous year. From those 40, 000 women there were 12, 000 success stories. Each year, fertility treatment improves and success rates steadily climb, but the statistics for IVF success can look and feel daunting. IVF is also expensive, with the average privately funded round costing £5, 000.
With these statistics and this financial burden, would you not want to do all you could to increase your chances of treatment working? Undergoing any assisted reproduction technology (IVF/ICSI/IUI) can leave individuals or couples feeling pretty redundant while they rely on the expertise of the medical team supporting them. However, there is plenty that can be done to maximise the chances of success. Good nutrition is at the cornerstone of this, and there is a wealth of scientific evidence to back this up.
Weight Loss, IVF Treatment, IVF Support, Nutritional Therapy Practice
Nutritional Therapist
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