Egg health is one of the cornerstones of healthy fertility. The quality of your eggs (ovum) can affect whether or not fertilization and implantation will occur as well as the viability of a pregnancy. Poor egg health can be the result of numerous factors including age, diet, lifestyle, high stress levels or a hormonal imbalance.
Most of the women with poor eggs have to choose in vitro fertilization (IVF). However IVF treatment doesn’t improve the quality of your egg and therefore the successful rate is low if the egg quality is poor. There are several things they can do to improve egg quality and increase the chance of conception.
1. Watch Your Lifestyle and Diet.
Choose foods that are full of antioxidants, healthy fats (such as omega-3s), lean protein, and vitamins. Eating a healthy diet can improve the health of your ovaries and eggs. Some healthy foods include: Seafood (halibut, salmon), Seeds (pumpkin, sesame), Spices (turmeric, ginger), Leafy greens, Beans, Broccoli and Berries (strawberries, blueberries).
At the same time, avoid eating fried foods, sweet baked goods and desserts, and processed meats. Stop smoking and abandon alcohol (apart from an occasional glass of red wine because of its resveratrol magic). Drink enough water and control the amount of caffeine every day.
2. Exercise Regularly.
Moderate aerobic exercise (such as long extended walks, jogging, riding bicycles and swimming) 3 or 4 days a week help you ease stress and keep a health weight, which will definitely benefit women’s ovarian and egg health. However women should avoid vigorous exercise which reduces estrogen and progesterone levels.
3. Manage Stress.
Stress impacts your body in so many ways, including egg quality. When you are regularly stressed out your body produces prolactin, cortisol and other hormones that can deter your body from regular ovulation.
If you experience stress from work, family or trying to conceive, ensure you take time to relax with meditation, your favorite hobbies, or any other preferred stress-reducing activity.
4. Take Some Supplements.
CoQ10 is an essential catalyst for the creation of energy at the cellular level. It works within the mitochondria to support energy production. As we age, CoQ10 decreases in the body. As a result, older women’s eggs are far less efficient in energy production. A study published in Fertility and Sterility showed that supplementation of 600 mg of CoQ10 daily by older women improved both egg quality and fertilization rates.
DHEA is produced naturally in our adrenal glands in large amounts. It is a basic building block for most sexual and steroid hormones. DHEA peaks in our bodies between the ages of 20-25 and then declines at a rate of about 20% per decade, falling in the elderly to levels of less than 10% of initial values. Supplementing DHEA help bring your eggs and ovaries to the best form possible. However, it is highly recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before supplementing.
Melatonin is a strong antioxidant that can support cellular health. Research has also found that melatonin can also play a role on your fertility. Melatonin’s role on increasing the quality of a woman’s eggs by protecting them from environmental stressors may be beneficial to women trying to conceive.
Vitamin D is very important for male and female fertility. Vitamin D deficiency has reached epidemic status in Western societies and has been linked to increased risk of cancer, osteoporosis, and decreased chances to get pregnant. Make sure you have enough vitamin D prior to trying to conceive.
Omega 3 is crucial for healthy regulation of hormones throughout the body. It also improves blood flow to the reproductive organs. Women should take omega 3 for at least three months before they conceive.
5. Try Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine could help boost the blood flow to ovaries to improve the women’s ovarian function and egg quality, which will boost the chances of conception. Choose an acupuncturist who’s specialized in fertility disorders. If you’re planning on having IVF, get acupuncture treatments every week for 2 to 3 months before egg collection.