Going through IVF- Preparing

I’ve been doing fertility acupuncture for around 15 years and have walked hundreds of women through the ups and downs of the process. It is very much like being on a roller coaster. Especially emotionally.

This series of blog posts are on the conversations I have with women when they start down this path. I would encourage people to look at some of these suggestions before they begin this process or as they are starting it. This first post discusses some important background information.

While it is true that women are born with all the follicles they will have for life most people don’t know much about the process of recruitment that develops a primordial follicle into an actual egg that is released. This process starts around a year before you actually ovulate but really kicks into high gear around 3 months before the eggs is released. During this time, the internal environment of the woman plays a large part in how that egg is ripened and what genes will be chosen for expression.  So for easy numbers lets say you have a thousand possible genes to choose from and a hundred will be expressed on this particular egg. The genes that are selected are dependent on the internal environment it is exposed to. The factors that influence this are diet, exercise, stress levels and emotions. So if your diet consists of fast food and coffee this will influence the quality of your blood and therefore the amount of nutrients and type of nutrients being carried to the ovaries and developing follicles. Same goes for exercise or lack of and the amount of oxygen being carried in the blood. 

So when preparing for IVF, or wanting to become pregnant naturally it is good to keep this in mind. The prep work you do beforehand can have a huge impact on the quality of eggs.  And sperm! Let’s not forget about the men as the same rule applies to sperm. It takes 3 months to make sperm and the quality of the genes expressed is dependent on their age and state of health during production.  More than once I have had clients that have used this time to have a last hurrah in Mexico or something of the sort before going through the IVF process. In light of this information of gene selection and quality of gametes it may be a better idea to use this time on self improvement.

For those that want to learn more about this the area of study it is called epigenetics. It is fascinating what they are discovering about the interplay of genes and environment. Even more fascinating is the ancients already knew a lot of this.

Dr. Angela Fingler