One of the most frequent questions we receive from our patients trying to conceive is how can they improve their egg quality. An internet search will indicate many solutions: vitamin supplements, herbal concoctions, new techniques such as ovarian rejuvenation and PRP treatments. But really, do any of these solutions work? What should be the steps followed to improve egg quality? Questions that most of you reading this will definitely have.
To begin with, you should always remember that a woman is born with all of her eggs. Her lifestyle choices and her ageing will be the ones affecting their quality. Therefore, you should follow the below instructions in order to preserve your egg quality for as long as possible.
Follow a healthy lifestyle & diet
Our lifestyle affects our egg quality. It is well known that the older you get the more environmental toxins you are exposed to and therefore the more likely it is that you will have a lower quality of eggs and also a higher chance of chromosomal abnormalities. A diet with plenty of variety, organic if possible, can help your body's overall function, including your eggs. Following a diet with vitamin-packed food such as dark leafy greens like kale and spinach, and antioxidant-filled fruit like blueberries might help. Protein intake (fish, chicken and meat as well as vegetable sources) provides the building blocks to healthy eggs and hormones.
Reduce stress levels
Try and find ways to manage your stress levels, as they have been associated with increased time in managing a pregnancy. Some use acupuncture that has been proven to lower stress levels. Some studies have also shown that acupuncture can help increase blood flow to the pelvic area and the ovaries. Good blood flows, mean that more nutrients are able to pass through and boost the health of the eggs.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol and smoking
All three have been associated with reduced pregnancy rates. It is therefore advisable to prepare the body by avoiding these.
There are many supplements claiming to improve egg quality. The main supplements thought to be useful are:
- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), Vitamin C, Selenium are all antioxidants, that help with free radical damage caused by a stressful environment or environmental toxins.
- Vitamins A and E may help with the mitochondrial function of eggs, which is the energy source that helps with DNA replication.
- Inositol can help to regulate blood sugars and is also thought to increase insulin sensitivity of the ovary, which helps improve egg quality. Animal studies reported that Myo-inositol helped with blastocyst development. It seems to be useful in women with PCOS.
- Folic acid.
- DHEA -androgens. This hormone may assist improve a low ovarian reserve.
- Omega 3 & other fatty acids help the outer layer of an egg (the cell membrane) and may influence egg maturation.
- B vitamins and Zinc are also needed for cell division after fertilisation.
All the above may help with egg quality and your chances of achieving a pregnancy. However, keep in mind that there are many other parameters and genetic factors that also affect fertility. Therefore, one should perform the appropriate testing to assess their fertility sooner than later.
Newlife IVF Greece staff are here to help you at every step of your journey to motherhood.
Chrysa Karakosta, BSc, MSc
Chrysa is the Lab co-Director at Newlife IVF Greece, in Thessaloniki Greece, from the beginning of 2010 and now heads the International Patient Department.