When trying to conceive, one of the main questions that many women ask is whether or not it is possible to improve the quality of their eggs. Since a woman is born with all the eggs that she will ever need, they are her most valuable commodity and must be properly nourished in order to successfully mature, ovulate, fertilise, implant and finally conceive a baby. The amount and quality of your eggs are determined genetically, and reduce over the years. However, there are many things that you can do to improve your egg quality by improving the environment in which they are growing.
Improve Your Nutrition:
In order to improve the quality of your eggs, it’s vital that you get the right nutrition and nourishment from your diet. As always, a healthy balanced diet rich in colourful vegetables and fruits as well as quality protein is important, however, specific nutrients are needed not only at different stages of the development cycle, but also for different parts of the egg.
Overall, eating foods that are high in protein such as lean meats, fish, chicken and nuts and seeds can help to improve the quality and health of your eggs. Your diet should be high in healthy sources of animal and vegetable protein. Please take care to avoid trans-fats as they can have a negative effect on ovulation.
Instead, increase your oily fish intake with foods such as salmon, sardines and oysters which are high in essential fatty acids. Omega 3 and DHA may be particularly beneficial to the health of the outer layer of the egg (the cell membrane), whereas B vitamins, zinc and CoQ10 are important for energy after fertilisation has occurred, and for general reproductive health.
Improve Your Lifestyle:
There are some lifestyle factors and bad habits that you may have picked up over the years which could be damaging both the health and quality of your eggs. For example, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and taking recreational drugs can have an effect on your egg health and increase free radical damage by creating oxidative stress.
Get Some Sunshine:
Studies have shown that micronutrients are important to healthy egg development, but Vitamin D plays an extra special role. Studies have shown that women with healthy levels of Vitamin D are more likely to have a better outcome in IVF. So, get outside and get some sunshine! Many women suffer from low Vitamin D levels, so I always get everyone’s Vitamin D checked, and prescribe a supplement if low.
Manage Your Stress:
If you have a very stressful life, for example, a job with lots of responsibilities, a business owner or perhaps just having a lot of demands placed upon you, this could be contributing to reduced egg quality and health. Managing your stress levels is crucial to keeping your eggs healthy. Furthermore, releasing an egg each month can be affected by stress. Meditation or yoga is a great way to reduce your stress levels which can contribute to improving your egg health. Meditation and yoga is also helpful to prepare you for pregnancy and birth.
Balance Your Hormones:
During your menstrual cycle, it is important that the right hormones are available at the right time for an egg to grow, mature and ovulate. However, many women struggle with hormonal and blood sugar balance during the post ovulation phase of the cycle, resulting in mood swings and food cravings. Certain B and C vitamins, as well as zinc and selenium may help the symptoms of hormonal imbalance, although for specifics as to what, how much and when you should take it, please consult your health care provider.
Improving blood flow to the ovaries and pelvic area may help to improve the health and quality of your eggs and your chances of a healthy conception. A healthy flow of blood to your pelvis and ovaries allows more nutrients to get through and nourish the eggs. While inconclusive, some studies have indicated that acupuncture may contribute to increased blood flow to these areas when used in conjunction with traditional treatments.
Please be aware that genetics can also play a role in egg quality. If you’re having trouble conceiving, you should ask your mother at what age they went through menopause. If it was early in her 40s, then it is likely there is a genetic link.
As you can see, a healthy lifestyle, nutrients, micronutrients, vitamins, minerals and diet all play a significant role in contributing to the health of our bodies (and our eggs).
If you’d like personalised advice on how you can improve your diet and wellbeing, whilst taking an adjunctive holistic approach to your fertility journey, contact Jenny now to arrange a consultation. Appointments can be booked via our website contact page.