Egg Quality 101
There are three parts to the egg that require consideration when wanting to improve egg quality as a whole. The theca, granulosa, and lutein cells are parts of the ovarian follicle and egg that secrete various hormones and have certain jobs throughout the menstrual cycle.
The theca cells are the part of the egg that contains mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell) and make androgens which then become testosterone. It also provides the building blocks for the granulosa part of the egg cell to create estrogen. If these parts of the egg cells aren’t functioning optimally, high or low levels of estrogen and testosterone can result in poor egg quality.
One of the most important ways to support these parts of egg health is to optimize blood flow. If the egg cells have enough nutrient and oxygen-rich blood, they have everything they need to create healthy theca and granulosa cells.
Some ways to support healthy blood flow are:
- photobiomodulation (laser for fertility)
- lymph massage or cupping
- abdominal massage
- dry brushing
- staying hydrated
- quitting smoking
- stabilizing blood sugar levels
If the granulosa cells make enough estrogen, it will then trigger the brain to release LH (luteinizing hormone) which then triggers healthy ovulation. If the theca and granulosa cells have done their part well in providing healthy levels of estrogen and testosterone, then after ovulation, a corpus luteum (the structure that is left of the follicle after the egg ovulates) will secrete healthy levels of progesterone which can then sustain implantation and pregnancy. Progesterone is the main hormone after ovulation that secures the lining and makes sure the embryo implants into the lining. Without healthy levels of progesterone, infertility and miscarriage may occur.
The brain communicates with the ovaries to tell them when to start growing follicles and when to ovulate. There are a few things that can interfere with this communication and lead to faulty follicular production, ovulation, and subsequent hormonal imbalance. Stress is a huge one. Also, high prolactin levels, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and excessive exercise can cause HPO (hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian) dysfunction and less LH, and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH).
Ideal Time Frame to Improve Eqq Quality
What’s the ideal time frame for improving egg quality? At least 3 months. The last three months of the egg maturation process is the most crucial time where everything you eat, drink, and do, has an enormous impact on the egg that you will eventually ovulate in 3 month’s time.
To summarize, there are quite a few steps for healthy follicle and egg production to support hormone balance and fertility. It is a full-body event that requires low inflammation levels, healthy blood flow, healthy mitochondria, adequate estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone levels, and a balanced nervous system. Some great ways to support these important aspects of egg quality are through supplements and IV nutrient therapy, naturopathy, acupuncture and low level laser therapy (LLLT/photobiomodulation).