90 Days to Healthier Eggs
The blueprint of a child’s genes happens well before birth and much before conception. Improving egg health is crucial. The quality of someone’s eggs directly impacts their ability to conceive and have a healthy pregnancy. We discussed in our patient webinar, as people age, the quality of someone’s eggs declines. This makes it more difficult to conceive and also increases the risk of genetic abnormalities in the fetus. Maintaining and improving egg health is therefore essential for those who want to use their eggs to conceive, today or down the road.
Before looking at ways to ensure you have optimal egg health, it is important to know why egg health is important.
People are born with all the eggs (also called oocytes) they have. These remain dormant until they are developed by FSH and LH during a regular menstrual cycle. Leading up to egg recruitment and release, the egg is maturing and synthesizing. It is important during this stage to support the eggs’ mitochondrial function and nuclear DNA.
Mitochondria are the engines of our cells. They make most of the energy for the cell. This is important because a healthy baby comes from rapidly developing cells turning from a blastocyst to an embryo to a fetus to a healthy baby. All mitochondria passed along to an embryo come from the egg. It is therefore important to ensure egg mitochondrial health to decrease abnormalities or fragmentation (which can lead to diseases, disorders or miscarriage of the embryo).
Having superior mitochondrial function leads to more cellular energy for the follicles/eggs, which leads to more cellular energy for the embryo, and beyond. So while you may not want to expand your family today, your frozen eggs will keep all the characteristics of your egg the day you retrieve them – and you want those to be in the best health. The 90 days leading up to your retrieval are critical in ensuring you do all you can for your future baby.
So what can you do? There are several natural ways to improve egg health before conception. These include:
Egg-friendly foods for healthy eggs:
Tailor your diet to include:
- Low glycemic index foods
- Lower carbohydrate diet
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Vegetable proteins
- Antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables
- Low-pesticide fruits and vegetables
- Whole-fat dairy products
Ditch smoking and alcohol for healthy eggs:
Current alcohol intake immediately before the start of (and during) treatment can be harmful. While there is a lack of consensus regarding the level and timing of alcohol consumption that is considered being safe, studies have shown that drinking affects egg quality and retrieval rates. Therefore, avoidance is best.
It is well-documented that cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals. Smoking seems to affect ovarian reserve and hormonal function within the ovaries.
Lower stress for healthy eggs:
Chronic stress can interfere with the reproductive system and negatively impact egg quality. Tips for reducing stress are:
- practice self-care
- music therapy
- artistic therapy
- cognitive behavioural therapy
- deep breathing exercises
Hit the gym for healthy eggs:
Regular physical activity can improve blood flow, reduce stress, and support overall health, which can help improve egg quality.
Sleep soundly for healthy eggs:
A deficiency in sleep can lead to menstrual dysfunction and unpredictable cycle changes. Following healthy sleep tips such as:
- go to bed at a consistent time
- avoid large meals 2 hours before bedtime
- remove electronic devices from the bedroom
- “unplug” at least an hour before bedtime
- make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark and cool
Nix endocrine-disruptors for healthy eggs:
Exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), such as pesticides and certain household cleaning products, can negatively impact fertility and egg health.
EDCs can mimic the configuration of our natural hormones, and therefore like a lock and key, they can sit on hormone receptor sites. It might not be a strong lock or bond between the EDC particle and the receptor but the result can be the blocking of the right signal, or the amplification of a bad one.
Smart supplementation for healthy eggs:
Supplements can help to:
- Provide building blocks for cellular division and replication and DNA methylation.
- Support mitochondrial function (= more cellular energy).
- Protect against oxidative stress.
Additionally, managing conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis, which can impact fertility and egg quality, is essential.
Many pre-conception kits contain all the supplements needed to support egg quality, quantity and mitochondrial function. EVOLVE carries a range of supplements to support your preconception journey.
It’s important to note that improving egg quality is a gradual process and may take several months to see results. A minimum of three months is recommended when adding supplements to your regime (check out our Pre-Freeze program for more info).
Additionally, factors such as age, genetics, and underlying medical conditions can also impact egg health. We recommend you speak with a fertility naturopath for personalized advice on improving egg health before conception.