For those who are trying to get pregnant, a good egg is one of the most important things for which to ask Santa. Read on for Fertility Logia from Dr. Angeline Beltsos, MD.
Fertility Logia: Egg Health
December is here with all the beauty and pageantry of Christmas. Celebrating the birth of Christ in the Greek and American way is amazing and is a time filled with joy. As we enjoy the fun of the season, we will take a moment to consider the importance of Egg Health.
5 things to know about Your Egg Power and Fertility
1. Test your egg health
- Women are born with 3 million eggs and every month just one lucky egg ovulates. Over time, many eggs eventually dissolve and are not used. In her lifetime, a woman ovulates about 500 eggs.
- With a simple blood test and ultrasound, we can tell how many eggs remain in your body.
- Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) is a blood test that checks the quantity of eggs that you have. It’s like the fuel gauge on your car — if you have AMH between 1-3, you have a good amount of eggs left. When your AMH is low, you need to be more aggressive about fertility treatment or freeze your eggs.
- Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Estrogen (E2) are blood tests that reflect egg quality and ovarian hormone balance. Your FSH should be low (<10). When FSH is over 10, the egg quality is less than ideal. E2 should be <50-100 when you are the first few days of your period and shows good hormone balance.
- Antral Follicle Count (AFC) is part of an ultrasound that checks for how many baby eggs are bubbling around for the month. Each month about 1 dozen eggs can be seen at the surface of the ovary; one gets chosen as the egg of the month. This special egg pops out of the ovary like popcorn when ovulation occurs.
- Take your Vios Pulse at Vios Fertility Institute and check all of these. It’s a simple process. It also includes a semen analysis.
2. Add egg vitamins
- CoQ10 is used by the body for energy and clearing toxins (free radicals). Your body makes some but you can also supplement through vitamins or foods. Take 600 mg per day to help nurture the eggs.
- CoQ10 is naturally found in high levels in organ meats such as liver, kidney, and heart, as well as in beef, sardines, and mackerel. Vegetarians or vegans can enjoy vegetable sources of CoQ10 include spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower as well as peanuts.
- PQQ 20mg also can help increase the strength of the egg by synergizing with CoQ10 to charge up your eggs.
- Vitamin D is very critical to the body’s well-being, immune system as well as fertility health. Take at least 2000 units per day.
- More on supplements.
- You should be active at least 3x per week for 30 minutes, where your blood is pumping a little harder and heart rate is up. This is great for blood flow to the body, to the uterus and to the ovaries.
- Healthy weight or body mass index (BMI) is obtained through smart food choices and getting active. A high BMI can make you less fertile and increase risk of miscarriage.
- With all the yummy foods of Christmas, make sure to get in the exercise to counteract the galatobouriko.
- Get a good Greek Dance like Kalamatiano in… OPA!
- Check this resource
4. Know your body and ovulation
- Watch your menstrual cycle by documenting when you get your period and signs of ovulation.
- Temperature increases right after ovulation. There are physical signs of ovulation like slight pelvic pain and a clear slippery discharge. Catch them! There are only 1-2 days in the whole month that your egg is alive and waiting.
- Vios Fertility Institute has partnered with an amazing technology called DUO, which helps track your fertile window and helping you understand the best time to try.
- Ovulation predictor kits can be very helpful and show a positive when it’s the right time.
- Ultrasound and blood tests can be also verify a ready egg.
- When you find ovulation is happening, make sure to enjoy a romantic moment. Watch out for work obligations or his travel to business conference. Make a date night out of it at the “SPITI” (home).
5. Freeze your eggs… if you are not ready to have a baby right now
- Sometimes in life we know what we want but it is not the right time. Eggs age as you age. Time is not our friend when it comes to eggs.
- The options are simple. Either try to get pregnant now or freeze your eggs.
- The technology to freeze eggs has improved dramatically. We now have a great chance of getting a baby from frozen eggs.
- The ideal number of eggs to have frozen is 15.
- It takes about 2 weeks of medicine to prepare and the eggs are collected with a simple procedure under a light anesthesia.
- If you are not with a partner yet but know you want kids, consider freezing your eggs and keep your dreams of a child a real possibility in the future. We take charge of our education, our faith, our careers… take charge of your fertility.
Understanding your Eggs and Fertility
The above is a basic review of how to test your personal egg health. We reviewed a few things to do to improve your egg nourishment through vitamins and exercise. Be sure to track your cycle to understand its natural rhythm. Know your body. Finally, if you are not quite ready to get pregnant now, freeze your eggs.
As Christmas approaches, go to church and light a candle for the holidays and pray for a bright future. Celebrate the beauty of the holidays and appreciate the power of your fertility… to start, you just need a good egg.
Angeline N. Beltsos, MD is CEO and Medical Director of Vios Fertility Institute. She is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI), practicing medicine since 1991. Dr. Beltsos is also the Clinical Research Division Director of Vios and participates in a number of research projects and scientific publications. She has received numerous awards in teaching and has been honored as “Top Doctor” from Castle Connelly for several years. She is a popular speaker, both nationally and internationally, and a frequent media resource on the topic of infertility. She is the executive chairperson for the Midwest Reproductive Symposium International, an international conference of fertility experts.
As the REI Division Education Director for the Obstetrics and Gynecology residency programs of Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Lutheran General Hospital, and St. Joseph’s Hospital Chicago, Dr. Beltsos helps educate future OB/GYN doctors. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Illinois at Chicago.