As a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a former research scientist, an author of books about fertility, and a mother who had her first child at 40, I view fertility through a different lens than most western doctors. The way I see it, your fertility is an extension of your health — your physical, nutritional, and mental-emotional health. I truly am less concerned with your age, how many eggs you have left, and your hormone levels because I know for certain that you can recover from fertility challenges when you address your health challenges. And yes, you can improve your fertility.
You see, when women come to me with unexplained fertility challenges (inability to get pregnant, repeated miscarriages and/or unsuccessful fertility treatments), I get to work in finding out the root cause. When I dig deep, I find that most women with these challenges have an undiagnosed autoimmune disorder and/or an inflammatory condition that is preventing them from getting and staying pregnant. The good news is this can absolutely be managed, and there’s now scientific data to prove it.
To help my patients get to the crux of their health issues, I guide them on a very specific anti-inflammatory diet that is balanced with the right nutrients and packed with antioxidants. I map out this eating plan in my new book, The Egg Quality Diet. My mission with this book is to show women that choosing to eat anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense foods is hands down your best ally when it comes to making better quality eggs, balancing your hormones, and getting and staying pregnant. Below is an excerpt from the chapter “Can I Really Improve the Quality of My Eggs” that discusses an important focus of this diet: macronutrients.
In addition to reducing inflammation, regulating your immune system, balancing your hormones, and healing your gut– you need to be eating the correct macronutrients for your fertility. Macronutrients (or macros for short) are the three categories of nutrients you eat the most and provide you with what your body needs to optimally function: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. So when you’re counting your macros, you’re counting the grams of proteins, carbs, or fat that you’re consuming. Don’t worry you don’t have to spend time each day calculating your macros, as I’ve already done that for you with this diet plan (but if you want to track them on your own, I highly recommend using the app MyFitnessPal). The reason I am bringing up the macro conversation is that I want you to understand what these macros are and how balancing them is so imperative to optimal fertility and egg quality. Scientists have discovered different macronutrient percentages for different health conditions. For instance, people dealing with cancer need a lot more fat than any other macronutrient as ketogenic diets have been shown to work best for them. When it comes to fertility, women who are trying to conceive seem to be most fertile with a macronutrient breakdown of 45% fat, 30% protein, and 25% carbs. Some data suggests that eating even more fat (where fat makes up 60% of your macros and a tad fewer carbs and protein) is even more ideal, but i find that hard for my clients to maintain, especially while still maintaining the other macros. Dr. Jeffrey Russel of the Delaware Institute for Reproductive Medicine discovered something fascinating in his own clinical practice: shifting his patients from eating a diet that was nearly 60% carbs, 10% protein, 30% fat to a diet that was 25% carbs, 30% protein and 45% fat dramatically improved fertility. Many of the women who were following the diet of 60% carbohydrates were having continued IVF failures and not making any blastocysts (early-stage embryos). When their diet shifted to 25% carbs, 30% protein and 45% fat they had four times the pregnancy success rate. Although Dr Russel’s study was conducted on a small group of women in his clinical practice, I have seen very similar results in my experience. Even more, the type of carbs, protein and fat you consume is extremely important– you need to consume foods that are nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich and minimally-processed.
Remember: I am advocating for this way of eating because I have seen some major fertility shifts for clients of mine when following The Egg Quality Diet. One client finally cut out her favorite green lentil dish and her joint pain, migraines and loose bowel movements went away. Plus she got naturally pregnant (for the first time ever) after 8 years of trying to conceive and 23 failed assisted reproductive techniques. Another client finally got her macros right (after years of following other fertility diets) lost 40 pounds, her chronic eczema cleared up, her daily anxiety settled and she finally got pregnant with a healthy baby boy with an IUI (9 IUI’s previous to the diet all failed). One woman started the diet with her FSH at a 60 and by three months into the diet, her FSH was a 12. Dozens of women who switched from the general fertility diets out there to The Egg Quality Diet went from never making any blastocysts, or genetically normal embryos, to making them.
Excerpt from The Egg Quality Diet: a clinically proven 100-day fertility diet to balance hormones, reduce inflammation, improve egg quality & optimize your ability to get & stay pregnant (available for pre-order now)
About the author: Aimee Raupp, MS, LAc, is a renowned women’s health & fertility expert, celebrity acupuncturist, and the best- selling author of the books Chill Out & Get Healthy, Yes, You Can Get Pregnant, Body Belief, and The Egg Quality Diet. Aimee holds a Master of Science degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, a Bachelor’s degree in biology from Rutgers University and has completed graduate level studies in neuroscience and functional medicine. Aimee is also the Head of Chinese Medicine at The Well in NYC.