A review of It Starts With The Egg by Rebecca Fett

Reviewed by Carolyn Martinez

It Starts With The Egg:
How the Science of Egg Quality Can Help You Get Pregnant Naturally, Prevent Miscarriage, and Improve Your Odds in IVF
by Rebecca Fett
Franklin Fox Publishing LLC
Paperback: 304 pages, March 25, 2014, ISBN-13: 978-0991126903

As someone who has done 15 cycles of IVF and who is passionate about making the road easier for others, I am honoured to be writing this review of It Starts With The Egg by Rebecca Fett. One of the challenges when starting IVF is sifting through the mounds of information now available. Google can be mindboggling, and well-meaning others can overwhelm you with their conflicting advice. Each case is individual and what might be right for them, may not fit for you. Additionally, research findings are progressing the field as we speak. How do you know what the latest, most reliable information is? You rely on your doctor, but you don’t always know the right questions to ask and when later new information is presented to you, you wonder why hasn’t my doctor told me that already? The answer to that question is most likely that your doctor eases you into the information as they feel you need to know it. If they hit you with everything in the first visit, you would be unable to take it all in. And if you are one of the average who gets pregnant within three cycles of IVF, you are unlikely to need to know all there is to learn about IVF and infertility.

But what if you aren’t one of those lucky average and go looking for further answers? Rebecca Fett’s book is a very good place to start your research. Fett is a woman with diminished ovarian reserve and a molecular biology degree … a lucky combination for the rest of us who now get to benefit from her work. In writing It Starts With the Egg, Fett researched 556 medical and scientific papers. She then presented the most up-to-date knowledge in easy-to-read and informative chapters.

Fett dispels myths, puts into perspective common beliefs, and explains the science behind infertility in such a way as to make sense of it for non-medical people. You will learn the importance of the body’s mitochondria and how to boost the body’s energy supply to feed and grow eggs and embryos. She also looks at the importance of sperm in the equation, and dispels the common myth that nothing can be done for a low sperm count.

Reading this well-written, well-documented and informative book on boosting your body’s fertility, you will learn:

  • The dangers of the chemical BPA which is common in plastics, how to reduce your exposure to it and other common toxins, and why you should minimise your exposure to them.
  • The impact of vitamin D deficiency, underactive thyroid, celiac disease, and heavy drinking.
  • Surprising facts affecting fertility eg. gum disease increases the risk of miscarriage.
  • Which prenatal vitamins you should take and why, and which ones have been proven to have no positive effect. You will read a very strong argument for COQ10.
  • The truth about antioxidants.
  • Why debate rages about DHEA and why it’s a good option in the treatment of diminished ovarian reserve.
  • Supplements that do more harm than good including Pysnogenol, Royal Jelly and L-Arginine.
  • Why the Mediterranean Diet is the most effective at boosting fertility.
  • How to improve sperm quality.

Once you understand how all this influences your body’s mitochondria, you will welcome Fett’s easy-to-understand action plans for boosting fertility in her concluding chapter.

I wish this book had of been available when I first commenced IVF and before I miscarried four babies; it would have prevented me from some of the blind alley’s and false turns I have pursued. In my view, this is a must read for those who want to get pregnant naturally and are having some difficulties, for those undertaking IVF, and for those who have experienced multiple miscarriages. I could not put this book down, riveted as I was to the simple explanations of complex science. I now find myself informed and empowered regarding the reasons and possible solutions for my infertility. It all makes much more sense now, knowing that whilst nutrition is important, infertility is so much more than diet.

Carolyn Martinez is the author of Inspiring IVF Stories, which documents the IVF journeys of 24 men and women, exploring how they nurtured and maintained their relationships during the often difficult processes associated with infertility. It also explores how the men felt about IVF and reacted to its challenges, compared to how the women felt and reacted. Remaining connected with your partner is vital during IVF. http://www.hawkeyepublishing.com.au