Your tip for this week discusses an interesting concept I came across while scanning through the National Academy of Science Archives.

The title of the article was Sperm Attraction to a Follicular Factor(s) Correlates with Human Egg Fertilizability

authors Authors of article:  D RAlt, M Goldberg, P Fetterolf, D Thompson, J Dor, S Mashiach, DL Garbers, and M Eisenbach

A summary of the article is: Sperm normally meet the egg in the Fallopian tube within 24 hours from ovulation (when the egg is released). A significant amount of the sperm ejaculated in to the female reproductive tract of mammals remains motionless in storage sites until ovulation when the sperm resume maximum motility and reach the fertilisation site in minutes. SCientists are not sure why this happens but it is thought that the egg and the follicular fluid released at ovulation (this is the fluid the egg grows up in and where it gets its nourishment from the time it takes the follicle to become dominant to the point where the egg is released from the follicle at ovulation) contains attraction factors so that the sperm goes to find the egg.

They did a study in vitro (meaning in a petri dish outside the body in a lab) that showed a strong correlation between the ability of the follicular fluid to attract the sperm and the ability of the egg which came from this same follicular fluid to be fertilised.

This is just like real life.  A group of guys (sp) hanging around until an available lady (egg) walks in!!  Then they make their move 🙂

The other thing that came to mind is that fact that it is imperative for the egg to be as healthy as possible and for the follicular fluid to contain the optimal amount of nutrients and hormones to first create a healthy egg and secondly to be able to create this attraction factor to increase the chances the sperm can fertilise the egg. This is one of the reason why I believe the certain herbs and supplements can help to improve the nutrients in the system and optimise hormone production.

It was shown in one study in Fertility and Sterility that in 41 woman who were undergoing IVF, the ones that became pregnant had a higher total antioxidant capacity in the follicular fluid than the ones who did not become pregnant. The older women who had less antioxidants in their system had less pregnancies. This is why I suggest the best quality antioxidants and multiminerals for my patients. We carry supplements that are tested to ensure they actually get absorbed in the body (there are no other supplements in Australia that I know of that undergo this rigorous testing, are pharmaceutical grade and have the quality and quantity of nutrients that our supplements have). We now have two different supplements that will accomodate each family’s budget.

But before you look at supplementation of any kind, its important to consider three things,
1) Improve your Diet: Supplements are not to replace a healthy diet. Plent of vegetables, salads and some fruit are really important. Avoiding unfermented soy is also important, see more in fertility tips.

2) Make sure the health of your gut is good so that if you are eating a healthy diet, it is actually getting optimal absorption in to your system. If your taking any type of synthetic medication including over the counter medication your gut health is likely to be less than optimal. Your naturopath should be able to help with this. Improving gut health, eating a healthy diet and taking a high quality supplement helps to ensure that you are not flushing vitamins right down the toilet.

3) More is not necessarily better. Buckets of supplements is not the answer either. The quality of the supplements, the quantity of the supplements and what each is trying to accomplish should be carefully considered when designing a supplementation program that is right for you. Some of our patients come in with buckets of supplements and not only is this outrageously expensive, but most times in my opinion unnecessary.

4) Minimise your exposure to toxins.  Though we can’t eliminate all the toxins we are exposed to because many of them we are unaware of, we can elminate the ones we know about and voluntarily put in our body.  Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, as well as drug use have been shown to impact both male and female fertility.  Trans fat in our diets from fried foods or packaged and processed foods have been shown to impact both male and female fertility.  I discuss the Safe Use of Plastics (which can be a source of endocrine (hormone) disruptors in our diet in one of the fertility tips on our website.  And skin care, as well as other household items can contain chemicals that could impact your fertility.  Check with your naturopath and read through our blogs with more tips about this as well.

But as usual we can’t think this is only a one way street.  The sp has tp be healthy enough to recognise the signs from the follicular fluid or the egg being released and then healthy enough to fertilise the egg.

Therefore the same 4 steps above are just as important for males as they are for females in order to optimise your fertility

Fertility tips are (C) copyright of Stacey Roberts and Positive Image publishing. This material is not to be distributed or reproduced in any fashion without expressed written consent of Stacey Roberts