How far in advance of ovulating are our eggs affected by what we eat and what we do? When should I start my sway is a question we are often asked.
A forum user of ours recently posted this question to our Ask the Expert Embryologist, Dr Carole Wegner of www.fertilitylabinsider.com.
“Carole – How long before ovulation (aka ER) are the eggs in our body ‘growing’ and affected by what we eat or do? By which I mean, when should someone be eating very healthy and not drinking alcohol — from a month or two before ER(egg retrieval), from a week, or does it not matter much?”
Here is Dr Wegner’s reply-
That’s an excellent question. To understand the answer, you have to understand that for most of our lives, our eggs are quietly sleeping in our ovaries, not actively growing, not making the final cytoplasmic changes for becoming a mature egg capable of being fertilized. This quiet stage is what is happening before adolescence and to some extent, even as some eggs are “chosen” every month, the rest quietly slumber on. They are somewhat protected from the world around them but not entirely. For example, if you are exposed to high levels of radiation, the DNA deep inside your eggs can still be damaged. But as a general principle, the dividing cell or metabolically active cell is more vulnerable to it’s environment than the hibernating one. SO when does the egg wake up? When I researched the question of growing cells from stem cells, there is a period of as far back as six months before ovulation, when the egg slowly starts to wake up to its environment. Very subtle changes. Egg awakening occurs in waves. This month, your hormonal cycle is waking up this months “crop” of eggs –only 1-2 will normally ovulate–but tickling the toes of those that are going to wake up in the next wave. Based on this, I would say that two months before ovulation is a slightly more active time. Two weeks before ovulation is the home stretch for the eggs that will actually ovulate.
So bottom line, when should you start living more healthy? Why not now? – because it benefits you all over. Your eggs may benefit as early as 6 months before ovulation. Regarding specific recommendations about diet, alcohol use , environmental exposures, etc, I would still have to defer to your physician’s specific advise for you.
Hope this helps, all the best,
See more of Carole’s blog here- http://fertilitylabinsider.com/