I'm a Women's Biotech Founder & These Are 8 Ways I Protect My Ovarian Health

I have been researching the ovary for almost two decades and find it surprising that most people think of the ovary as just an egg factory. The truth is, it’s the “central command” center of a woman’s body and critical to every major system and function. The ovaries communicate with virtually every cell in the body and exchange signals that influence immune function, brain health, and metabolic health (to name a few).

We protect our skin from the sun’s harsh UV rays with hats and sunscreen. We protect our brains from injury when we ride a bike with helmets. We brush and floss to protect our teeth. When thinking about the best way to protect our health, protection is key. Our ovaries are no exception.

From my professional experience, women often don’t realize how much of their health and vitality is tied to their ovarian function. This leads to frustration sometimes as to why they are facing various health challenges. For example, a woman may follow all the standard advice: exercise daily, eat more vegetables, get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night, and still have trouble losing weight. She might not realize that the weight gain may be connected to an imbalance in ovarian health.

This lack of understanding is what motivated me to launch a company dedicated to redefining female biology and unique pelvic organs as being more than “reproductive.” Female body parts have key functions beyond just making babies, and the ovary is a great example. My mission as a scientist and CEO has been to give women better options to manage their lifelong health, including their ovarian health. It takes years to bring a new therapeutic drug to market. In the meantime, below are 8 strategies that you can use today to help improve and extend your ovarian function.

Melatonin is commonly known as the “sleep hormone.” That’s because your brain produces melatonin in response to darkness, which then acts as a cue to make you sleepy. What most people don’t realize is that melatonin is also directly involved in ovarian hormone production and other important bodily processes like metabolism. Without melatonin, your ovary cannot function correctly. 

Your melatonin levels follow a light-dark cycle, but this can get disrupted if you stay up late or don’t get adequate sleep. Another way to disrupt melatonin production is being exposed to too little natural light and too much artificial light, including the blue light emitted from our electronic devices.

Unfortunately, taking melatonin supplements can’t fix the disruption to your natural melatonin production. Instead, make some changes to your daily routine. Create a bedtime routine and be sure to turn your electronics off and store them outside the bedroom so you won’t be tempted to check them at night. When you need to stare at a screen, whether it’s for work or play, invest in some blue light-blocking glasses and download an app like f.lux for your computer.

One factor that affects melatonin production in your brain is blood sugar levels. If you have hypoglycemia (e.g. sugar crashes), especially close to bedtime, that will result in your brain producing less melatonin. 

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