Can we improve egg quality?
One of the most commonly asked questions I get is what we can do to improve the quality of our eggs. We know that a woman is born with all of the eggs she will ever have. And we know that egg health is crucially important to fertility – our eggs need to be healthy enough to mature adequately, be ovulated in a timely manner, fertilize and divide, travel through the fallopian tubes to the uterus, implant in the uterine wall, and finally make a healthy baby.
Now here’s a big thing I want you to know. Too often we blame the quality of our eggs on our age, without really knowing much about our eggs. But! The environment our eggs are growing in plays a crucial role in the final quality of the eggs that are produced and ovulated. And this environment can be affected by lifestyle factors just like any other cell in the body. Meaning that yes, we can improve our ovarian function and egg quality.
Why egg quality is so important
I always think of the egg as being truly magnificent. Once released at ovulation, it is the largest cell in the body and 550 times bigger than the sperm. Prior to ovulation, it was a teeny tiny little cell, called a primordial follicle, and it grows so much in the 90-100 days prior to being ovulated. Its size and growth make the egg especially vulnerable to the environment in which it matures. And it has a big role. It will live up to 24 hours, during which time it can be fertilized, and then once fertilized, it will be responsible for the energy the embryo will have to survive and travel to the uterus. So it needs to be as healthy as it can be.
How to improve egg quality
Here are 7 steps to improve and support your egg quality:
- Reduce inflammation – quick tip: reduce sugar and processed foods and bad oils
- Reduce toxins – quick tip: avoid plastic, organic, alcohol, and check your self-care products
- Support your adrenal glands and hormone balance with more sleep and less stress – what do you need to feel truly safe and nourished?
- Optimize the timing of your ovulation – not too early (less than day 12) or too late (later than day 17)
- Increase bloodflow to your ovaries – quick tip: exercise, stretching, acupressure, acupuncture
- Support mitochondrial health – Quick tip: supplement with CoQ10 and moderate exercise
- Supplement with methyfolate - make sure your prenatal vitamin has the correct form of folate (not folic acid).