How fatigue depletes fertility?

mitochondria energy fertility egg quality

If you suffer from chronic and unremitting fatigue, first rule out thyroid dysfunction. A simple TSH test is usually performed but it is inadequate for detecting thyroid dysfunction. A full panel blood test with thyroid antibody count should be given. My views on thyroid assessment can be found here. 

Why energy matters in fertility?

Unremitting fatigue is a core clinical symptom ubiquitous in many illnesses. Fatigue is often the most pronounced but underestimated condition in cases of endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome, the main causes of infertility. Hormonal and metabolic disruptions can cause havoc with energy production. It is well known that birth control pills lower levels of free thyroid hormone. Also, it is not uncommon to hear complaints of fatigue and exhaustion after exposure to large amounts of synthetic hormones during IVF procedures.

It is such a common feature among my patients who are seeking to enhance fertility and increase the chance of conception/maintaining pregnancy and I cannot emphasize enough the importance of gauging one’s battery (energy reservoir) and replenishing it in a timely manner as energetic demands for pregnancy are enormous. How can you supply the fuel and metabolic energy to support the correct work of the gametes?

Improving energy metabolism is a central part of our treatment plans for fertility, pregnancy maintenance and for the treatment and prophylaxis of the toxemias of pregnancy and its many associated problems.

Traditionally established fertility formulations contain botanical ingredients proven to increase cellular energy and these are particularly useful in enhancing fertility and extending fertility span.

Mitochondria, the energy factories within our cells, are responsible for producing the ATP, the cellular energy that our bodies require to function properly. Fatigue represents a lack of cellular energy caused by loss of mitochondrial function. If left untreated, it has effects, some subtle and others not so subtle, that manifest a constellation of symptoms across the system.

Mitochondrial dysfunction has a particularly deleterious effect on our fertility because mitochondrial function determines the whole process of egg development, ovulation and fertilization and the normal development of the embryo.  Our egg quality is dependent on mitochondria and the age-related decline in fertility is directly associated with mitochondrial loss and dysfunction, i.e. energy decline.



Dr Ryu’s article

Mitochondria and egg quality 

Agnes Ryu

Agnes Ryu

Dr. Ryu is a clinician and biochemist specializing in integrative medicine. Her clinical interests include fertility, hormones, metabolism, healthy ageing, menopause, and natural breast cancer care. As an integrative practitioner, Dr. Ryu aims to uncover the root causes of health issues and strives to empower patients with the knowledge and tools to take charge of their own health.

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