Improving pregnancy outcomes starts long before conceive, in fact it starts at the early stages of follicular growth around 100 days before we ovulate.
Supplementing, eating well, moving and reducing stress is crucial in this time to assist in improving egg quality and optimising pregnancy outcomes.
Here we discuss CoQ10 and why it is so important during the preconception phase. We break down why CoQ10 is important by first explaining the process of – how an egg becomes an egg – and how this matches up with the findings on CoQ10 in improving preconception care.
It starts with the egg
From birth we carry with us a number of immature follicles (egg casing) containing primary oocyte (egg cell) which are a mere .03mm in size, they lay dormant until they are called to duty.
Over the years our number of follicles diminish, each women will experience this decline at different levels over time. While we cannot do much about our diminishing reserve but we can do a lot to improve egg quality.
When we hit puberty the clogs of our reproductive system turn on and we start a process called folliculogenesis which is the technical way of saying the growth of the follicle in the lead up to ovulation. During folliculogenesis our bodies go through a multiple stage, complex process to develop the immature follicle so it may eventually release an egg. The follicle grows from .03mm to 10-20mm during this time and we need a lot of energy to do this.
Interestingly most of the growing follicles die in their long and arduous journey to releasing an egg with only a small number maturing through the process.
Egg development requires a lots of energy on a cellular level, energy to assist with the development off the growing follicle, releasing of the egg and the eventual cell proliferation that occurs during the early stages of pregnancy. Just think of how much energy our body must need to turn our very very small immature .03mm follicles into a mature and robust 10-20mm follicle ready to release an egg (and then eventually a baby ready to be birthed!).. it is a lot!
CoQ10 and cellular health
This is where CoQ10 enters the picture. CoQ10 is is a fat-soluble nutrient found in the body that is used to produce energy for cell maintenance. We make CoQ10 and it is essential for the production of energy in our body (ATP) however as we age and pending lifestyle and disease factors we may need much more than what our body can produce.
CoQ10 is found within the body concentrated in organs with high rates of metabolism such as the heart, kidney, and liver and during pregnancy in the development of a maturing follicle.
The effects of CoQ10 are wide and relate to pregnancy due to its effect on the anti-oxidative capacity and energy production in the oocyte.
Benefits of supplementing with CoQ10 on pregnancy outcomes
– CoQ10 has been shown to play a critical role in cell growth and energy metabolism which is crucial to positive pregnancy outcomes.
– CoQ10 is also shown to improve ovarian response women with low ovarian reserve.
– CoQ10 assists with steroid hormone biosynthesis, oocyte maturation, fertilization and early embryonic development
In it’s more simplistic explanation, to create an egg we need cell proliferation to occur at a rapid rate and CoQ10 supports that process each step of the way.
Dosing & Quality of CoQ10
Taking 300mg of CoQ10 in the ubiquinol form comes with little side effects and is generally considered safe, however clinical studies have shown much higher levels of CoQ10 usage to be effective. We do not recommend increasing above 300mg without the guidance of a qualified practitioner or GP and encourage you to speak with our team if you are planning on starting a family in the next 12 months.
Quality is of concern also, we only recommend a strict few brands of ubiquinol due to quality issues for the majority of brands out there.
*If you have PCOS, diabetes or cardiovascular disease you may consider taking CoQ10 12 months before trying to conveice to assist in lowering these disease states.
Factors leading to an increased need for CoQ10
- Chemical exposure
- Poor quality diet
If you are thinking of starting a family in the next 12 months speak with one of our qualified practitioners who can assist in custom planing your preconception treatment.
Jennifer Ward, Adv dip Nat, BCom Econ, Masters Repro Med (studying)
Jennifer is a qualified naturopath with a focus on fertility, pregnancy, hormonal imbalances.
Learn more about Jennifer here
Book a session with Jennifer here
To learn more about CoQ10, preconception care or for speaking enquires on this topic get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org