Fertility challenges are among the most stressful and disheartening challenges a woman and her partner can face. While many couples feel powerless, there are many things you can do to improve the overall health of both your eggs and your ovaries, and in so doing, better your chances of both conceiving and experiencing a successful pregnancy. The journey to a successful pregnancy starts with a focus on preconception health.
Please note: the following are general recommendations only. Any plan to improve egg health should only be undertaken after consulting with a fertility counselor, fertility expert and or fertility coach. Every woman is different, and every woman considering fertility treatment deserves an egg health plan customized just for her taking into consideration her current health, family history, fertility challenges, pregnancy goals and unique bio-individuality.
That said, here are five key things your fertility counselor may recommend to improve egg and ovarian health. Please note these are just some of the ways you can improve egg quality.
1. The 90 Day Rule. The key window to improve egg health starts 90 days before ovulation. During those 90 days (the tonic growth and protein synthesis phase), the eggs are changing rapidly, and are most susceptible to lifestyle changes and choice a woman may make. It’s not just the egg’s cycle that matters here: any plan to improve egg health will need to be followed for at least 90 days to have an impact.
2. Diet and Nutrition. How you eat during these 90 days can improve egg quality – or, unfortunately, have the opposite effect. Certain superfoods (dark leafy veggies, salmon, turmeric) can have a significant positive impact, while other things (caffeine, alcohol, sugar, trans fats) may damage egg health during this vital development phase.
3. Exercise. Yep, you guessed it. Exercise sends fresh blood coursing through the body, and helps oxygenate the body. Exercise can energize you – and the mitochondria in your eggs as well. To be most effective, you may want to ask your fertility coach about various types of exercises known to enhance fertility as well as improve egg quality.
4. Eliminating Toxins. Toxic substances can damage overall health as well as negatively impacting egg quality. Some toxic substances are obvious, but they bear repeating: alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and other street drugs. Many toxic substances are less obvious: certain prescription drugs, of course, but also many cosmetics and household products. Toxic metals, lead, xenoestrogens (often found in plastic products): all these can directly harm egg quality in some women. Consult with a fertility expert to learn what toxins are the most important for you to eliminate, and to find out various methods for detoxifying your body and your home.
5. Supplements. The previous tips are all important, but they’re also generally applicable to overall good health. When it comes to improving egg quality, you may need some additional help in the form of natural supplements. There are a number of supplements that have been shown to improve egg health and fertility outcomes in women, especially DHEA and Ubiquinol. DHEA is not suitable for all women. Ask your fertility coach for more information.
A special note: the FDA provides very little regulation of supplements. A fertility coach can tell you which supplements (and which brands) have been scientifically proven to work in research settings. Not all supplements recommended improve egg quality. Some commonly used supplements promoted to help improve egg quality, actually further impairs egg quality. Hence why it’s important to know which supplements have been proven scientifically. Even more importantly, supplement dosages are dependent on each person’s unique bio-individuality as well as fertility challenges.
Beware of anyone who offers a one-size fits all approach. Everyone metabolizes nutrients differently; one woman may need much more or less of a nutrient than another.
One excellent way to gain insight into how much of a given nutrient you may need is to have your DNA analyzed by a fertility coach trained in DNA analysis. For example, there are specific fertility challenges linked to various ethnic groups. This reality makes DNA analysis far more relevant than simply gaining insight into one’s family tree.
The Bottom Line
Egg quality is a vital piece of the fertility puzzle. And despite what some may tell you, there’s more to determining egg quality than knowing a woman’s age. Most importantly, there are effective steps you can take to improve egg health. A fertility counselor, fertility expert or fertility coach can get you started on that journey.