I just finished reading a book that recently came out called It Starts With The Egg by Rebecca Fett. It's all about egg quality and the various things, from environmental toxins to vitamins/supplements to diet, that can impact egg quality. The book draws from 500 scientific studies and gives the reader an understanding of the science of a developing egg, as well as an analysis of what the current research shows. The author has a background in molecular biology and biochemistry, and when she was diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve (DOR), she set out to research what she could do to increase her chances of success. The end result was that after making changes to her diet and lifestyle and adding specific supplements, she went from having just a few follicles in her ovaries to having about 20. On the day of her retrieval, the doctor harvested 22 eggs, out of which 19 became good-quality blastocysts. This hardly sounds like the outcome of someone with DOR.
Reading this book both freaked me out and made me feel more informed. I was freaked out by how many toxins we are all exposed to, and how unregulated a lot of it seems. Yes. Keep away from BPA and plastic tupperware, but scented lotions and nail polish and receipts? AHHH! Though we can't avoid all things toxic, becoming more aware can help us make the better choices. We are all looking for more ways to feel like we have some control over our situation, right? Perhaps making specific changes and taking certain supplements (CoQ10 anyone?) can help. It certainly can't hurt.
Though I don't believe there is a prescription for getting pregnant or having a successful IVF cycle, I do believe being healthy and cautious about what we put in, on, and around our bodies is important. I also believe that different bodies require different levels of intensity when it comes to this stuff. I do my best to stay away from empty carbs, processed foods, caffeine and alcohol, and I eat lots of veggies and take herbs and vitamins. I've done a lot of this stuff (much of what is outlined in this book) for over two years now and haven't seen much improvement in my ovarian reserve. But other people, like the author of the book, do have significant improvement! And there is evidence that supports it. This book gives a lot of great information and specific action steps for anyone interested in improving egg quality.
Every body is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. Sixteen-year-olds get pregnant on a steady diet of hot cheetos and diet Coke! We can't make ourselves too nuts about everything, but we can do whatever is within our power to give ourselves the best chance. Then we can at least know we did everything we could.