New Perspectives on Fertility and Aging
In Part 1 of this book review, I shared what I found most impactful to me in terms of its larger ramifications on prospects for improving fertility, particularly in a woman’s later reproductive years. I was thrilled about how the book was research-based and well-referenced. Much to my delight, it cited research that indicated it is possible to influence egg quality though supplements, diet, and avoiding environmental toxins. And even more significant to me, I was able to draw some conclusions about ways to influence egg quality beyond what was presented in the book.
In Part1, I ignored the majority of the book, focusing on a few themes that were critical to me. But that doesn’t mean the rest of the book is uninteresting or unimportant. It’s all worth considering, but I’m not going to delve into these other topics in depth as, frankly, I don’t have a strong opinion about these topics at this time.
For those wondering, “What else is in the book?” I’m going to give a quick and dirty run-down of the contents, Cliff’s Notes style. After this listing, I will offer a few of my own reactions to the overall content of the book. In Part 3 of this blog series I will share thoughts on how this body of information relates to the Fertility From the Soul Egg Quality program I am developing.
Book Chapter Highlights
It Starts With the Egg, by Rebecca Fett (2016)
Chapter 1 – Understanding Egg Quality
Chapter 2 – Dangers of BPA
Chapter 3 – Phthalates and Other Toxins
Chapter 4 – Unexpected Obstacles to Fertility
Chapter 5 – Prenatal Vitamins
Chapter 6 – The Power of Coenzyme Q10
Chapter 7 – Melatonin and Other Antioxidants
Chapter 8 – Restoring Ovulation with Myo-Inositol
Chapter 9 – DHEA for Diminished Ovarian Reserve
Chapter 10 – Supplements That May Do More Harm Than Good
Chapter 11 – The Egg Quality Diet
Chapter 12 – The Other Half of the Equation: Sperm Quality
Chapter 13 – Putting It All Together
Summary lists of recommendations are offered for various situations:
In the above run-down, I’m just pulling out the author’s conclusions based on her review of the research, and I’m leaving out all the rationale and research details behind each idea, as well as specific recommendations on how to or how not to apply these measures. If you’re wanting to implement these recommendations, I would encourage you to read the book or do your own research, so that you can be as informed as possible. The beauty of this book is that it’s designed to educate you so that you can come to your own conclusions. Newer research may have come out since the publication of this book, so that is worth considering as well.
“It Starts with the Egg” translates research into plain English and shows that there is compelling scientific evidence supporting the notion that egg quality can be improved. Fett delves into research in the realms of nutrition, supplements, environmental toxins and a few health conditions. She also touches on the importance of sperm quality and discusses factors that can influence sperm health.
I have not explored in great depth her research sources, so I can’t speak to the quality of her research review process. Most of her conclusions are consistent with other things I have read in my less-scientific gathering of information off the internet. She discusses the controversy around DHEA and concludes that arguments against its use are probably not warranted. I have come across enough cautions about its use and recommendations for medical monitoring of its affects, that I would personally recommend further exploration of the research and consultation with a medical practitioner if you choose to consider DHEA supplementation.
What simultaneously disappoints me and excites me about the book is that I believe there could be many more chapters on this topic. There is a whole follow-up to this book, just waiting to be written. Based on the notion that boosting mitochondrial functioning leads to higher quality eggs, it appears to me that any other measures that could impact mitochondria could also affect egg quality. Various healthy lifestyle practices such as stress reduction, sleep, and exercise have been shown to have a positive impact on mitochondrial functioning and none of these are even mentioned in this book. In my mind, the list of possible pathways to influence egg quality could be quite extensive.
The good news is that I have already been integrating this wider array of mind-body health components into the Fertility From the Soul Egg Quality program which I am currently developing. And now, since reading “It Starts with the Egg” I can connect the dots to explain how my program recommendations make sense scientifically, not just based on my intuition.
In Part 3 of this blog series, I’m going to dive deeper into an exploration of how “It Starts With the Egg” relates to the “Fertility From the Soul” perspective. They share a common scientific basis and some common components, but the implementation of my program will have a different style which I believe embodies an important dynamic shift that can give even more assistance in cultivating optimal fertility.
Continue to Part 3 of 3 in this blog series.
Learn about the Fertility From the Soul 90-Day Egg Nurturing Program
Receive tips, inspiration, and resources related to fertility and life in general right to your email inbox. Seriously, who needs more mail cluttering their inbox? I don't want to receive junk mail and I certainly don't want to send junk mail! I promise to only send out material that I believe adds value to your experience. How is this different from what you will find on my website? I have high standards for what I put on my website and sometimes it takes me a while to put my current thoughts and discoveries into a solid blog post or meditation recording. In my newsletter I share a more informal, behind the scenes version of what's on my mind. I share sometimes about my own life experiences that are inspiring my work and projects that are in development. You'll also get notified of special opportunities to test out products before they are released more widely, and you can participate in the creation process by giving feedback on what products you would like to see produced next. Of course, you may unsubscribe at any time. I typically send out newsletters every week or two. Sign up for the newsletter if you would like to stay connected and inspired!