Comparing egg quality programs
In Part 1 of this series, I elaborated on the implications of the book’s description of how egg quality can be influenced. In particular, I was very encouraged by the notion that it’s not our actual eggs that are showing signs of age, it’s the mitochondria that are responsible for egg maturation months before ovulation that are weakening with age, and there is evidence that mitochondria can be strengthened. This chain of logic pretty much rocked my egg nurturing world. In Part 2, I gave a cliff’s notes style run down of what else is in the book.
I'm continuing now with a comparison of the approach for improving egg quality presented in “It Starts With the Egg” with that of my Fertility From the Soul “90-Day Egg Nurturing Program.”
More, more, more!
It Starts With the Egg provides a good research-supported rationale for making certain lifestyle changes which results in essentially a checklist of changes to implement across a handful of categories—primarily environmental toxins, supplements and nutrition. There are quite a few changes you can implement in each of these categories, but there are really only these three categories offered in terms of lifestyle change options.
In my program, I expand on the notion of how to think about influencing egg quality to include far more avenues for making a difference. In particular I include possibilities for some common health practices such as exercise and sleep. I also incorporate a wide array of practices to reduce stress, capitalizing on the connection between the mind and body. When you consider the impact of stress on our health, there are actually infinite avenues for making a difference. In the “Resource Library” of techniques to choose from in my program, I include numerous options to reverse the stress cycle that is so toxic to our health.
Among the options are:
Not just what but how
It Starts With the Egg offers little guidance on the psychological and behavioral aspects how to make these changes. We all know that there is much more to eating healthfully than knowing what to eat. My program goes well beyond offering a checklist of actions to take, as I show you how to implement changes and maintain them. This is where my background in psychology and behavior change comes into play. I address emotional issues that create barriers to change and offer strategies of turning new behaviors into long-standing habits. I provide a whole system for assessing your needs and then developing and maintaining a lifestyle change program over three or more months that you’ll be nurturing your eggs.
The stress factor
In the Fertility From the Soul program, I’m acutely aware of how easy is it to become obsessive and highly stressed out about our fertility, and I see this kind of stress as counterproductive to fertility and potentially harmful to egg quality. It Starts with the Egg does not really address this issue. Here is an example of a reaction from someone reading this book. This was posted in a Facebook group for women over age 35 trying to conceive:
I’ve got myself into a bit of a state. I’ve been following the ‘It all starts with an egg’ book. Have avoided plastics - but just realized the inside of my kettle has plastic parts.
How could I be so stupid?!
I’ve researched the kettle - it’s a notify Richards accents kettle and have found this commentary: ‘Morphy Richards: The water level indicators on this range of kettles are moulded in PC which means they have a trace reading of BPA, although this level is well below the approved safety limit. Hope that helps’
So it contains bpa. I now just don’t know what to do. Whether to go back to doing ivf later again incase my egg quality is going to be terrible.
I have to wonder what the impact might be on egg quality of stressing out about every toxin that she might encounter in her daily life? It’s not uncommon that I see women getting very obsessive and stressed out after reading this book, particularly with respect to the environmental toxins chapter, because they become fearful of all the wrong steps they might take that can harm their eggs. Frankly, I think most of us are prone to getting stressed out and obsessive about the process, no matter what advice we are getting. In my program, we are constantly checking in to make sure that we are approaching all of our process in a manner that doesn’t add unhelpful stress to our system.
Gathering data from outside and inside
In Fertility from the Soul, I encourage considering information from multiple sources—not just traditional western medical approaches, but alternative medical approaches such as Traditional Chinese Medicine, functional medicine, integrative medicine, and others. Equally as important, I encourage learning to listen inward to your own body and your own intuition. This is a practice that can be developed over time when we recognize the power of our inner voice. I believe that by combining outer knowledge with inner knowledge, we can come to the wisest conclusions.
It Starts With the Egg focuses on areas where direct scientific research can be found. I see tremendous value in sticking to that theme within that book. I also believe that there are many effective strategies that have not yet been well-researched and we can make thoughtful choices about incorporating these strategies as well. In my program, I provide guidance in how to wade through the range of options we might consider if we expand our options to include things that don’t have solid research behind them.
From my perspective, the most valuable part of It Starts With the Egg is the scientific explanation about the pathway for influencing egg quality. For me this helps provide a framework and a rationale for identifying a wide range of possibilities for improving egg quality. Also valuable in the book is how it highlights the role of environmental toxins, nutrition and supplements. The book provided additional value in pointing out commonly overlooked issues that should be on our radar screen such as celiac disease, thyroid conditions, dental health and sperm health.
In the Fertility From the Soul program for improving egg quality, I have developed what I see as a more comprehensive system for assessing needs, sorting through a wide range of options for making changes, learning new strategies for supporting a healthy mind and body, and learning how to integrate them into our lives. Throughout the program there is careful attention given to how to minimize stress as we navigate what can be a highly stressful life experience. This program aims to inspire a deep transformation of mind and body.
I am grateful to Rebecca Fett for what I see as a trailblazing effort in the field of fertility. Looking at her current bio, it looks like she’s off to blaze new trails in other health arenas. I am hoping that my work in developing this program will be somewhat of a continuation and an elaboration on what she started in the realm of fertility and egg quality. I would love to be one of the people who carries the Olympic torch on a segment of its journey on the way to lighting the giant cauldron--but in the field of natural fertility.
If you are inspired to take this journey with me as your guide, I invite you to learn more about the 90-Day Egg Nurturing Program. Enrollment will be opening in the Summer or Fall of 2018. Sign up for the interest list if you would like to be among the first notified.
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