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Fertility discussions often involve acronyms such as TTC, IVF, and hCG. Another acronym to add to the mix is CoQ10, which stands for Coenzyme Q10. CoQ10 is a coenzyme that is present in almost all human cells, including the egg, and plays a crucial role in transferring electrons between molecules in the cell’s mitochondria. Mitochondria are responsible for providing energy for the egg’s development, and research suggests that poor mitochondrial function is a leading cause of age-related infertility and premature ovarian failure.

Good mitochondrial function is essential for the production of chromosomally normal eggs and the development of a fertilized egg into a blastocyst embryo, which is required for implantation into the uterine lining. Studies show that taking a CoQ10 supplement two months before IVF can increase egg quality and improve pregnancy rates. However, it’s challenging to obtain enough CoQ10 through food alone, so a specialized supplement is recommended.

Another issue for aging eggs is the reduced production of antioxidant enzymes, leaving oxidizing molecules unchecked and causing mitochondrial damage. Melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep and acts as a powerful antioxidant, has been found to improve egg quality when taken one month before an IVF egg retrieval. However, it’s not recommended for those trying to conceive naturally. Other antioxidant supplements like vitamin C, vitamin E, or alpha-lipoic acid can be considered instead.

A standard prenatal supplement containing folate, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6 can also support egg quality and embryo development. If you’re in your mid-thirties or younger and don’t have specific fertility issues, a healthy diet and a prenatal supplement are typically sufficient. However, it’s best to consult with a healthcare provider before taking any supplements.

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