One of the questions I get asked the most is if there is anything that can be done to improve egg quality, and particularly how women can improve egg quality over 35. It is well known that a woman is born with all of the eggs she will ever possess and that the amount and quality of her eggs are genetically determined. However there are other factors in play. The environment the eggs are growing in, just like any other cell in our body. can be hugely affected by how well we look after ourselves.
The building blocks for good egg health are nutrition, protection, energy and lifestyle. Let’s look at these one by one:
How to Improve Egg Quality Over 35
Protein is essential to improve egg quality over 35 and for ensuring a good hormonal balance. One quarter of fertility problems are related to ovulatory disorders and dietary changes can help improve and promote ovulation. Get your protein from sources such as fish, chicken and meat as well as vegetable and diary sources.
Many women are deficient in Vitamin D and this can play a part in improving fertility and IVF success. This summer in the UK we’ve enjoyed a healthy does of sunshine but now as the days are shorter and the sunshine less, a vitamin D supplement is crucial. I also advise that you see your doctor and ask to have your vitamin D levels checked as if you are low you may require a high supplementation dose.
There are a number of toxins that cause us concern when it comes to fertility and egg health. These toxins, often termed endocrine disruptors, may effect egg quality and it is vital to reduce your exposure where you can. The toxin BPA is found in plastics, and phthalates and parabens found in beauty products, cleaning products and air fresheners. Try to reduce your exposure and improve egg quality over 35 by switching plastic water bottles etc for glass or BPA free and choosing more natural beauty and cleaning products and avoiding the use of air fresheners in the home.
Antioxidants play a vital role in improving egg quality by protecting against oxidative stress. Antioxidants can be found at source in fruit and vegetables and also through supplementing with a good quality multivitamin.
For an egg to develop, mature and ovulate effectively the cell requires particular nutrients such as essential fatty acids Omega 3 and DHA. It’s vital to choose an Omega 3 that is high in DHA and EPA and free from toxin contaminants.
Many women struggle hormonally during a cycle and are ruled by moods and refined sugary foods. Some women, particularly those with PCOS struggle to maintain a good blood sugar balance. Reducing or cutting out sugar and refined carbohydrate from your diet will help to regulate blood sugar and thereby creating the correct hormone balance to support the egg. The supplement Inositol helps to regulate insulin levels and there is some evidence to suggest that it may also help to improve egg quality over 35.
It is well known that alcohol, cigarettes and recreational drugs affect egg health and these can actually be responsible for aging your ovaries. Being overweight or underweight can also affect fertility and therefore maintaining a healthy BMI is crucial. All poor lifestyle choices including the impact of sexual transmitted infections increase oxidative stress, which in turns affects egg health.
We know that stress plays a significant part with regards to fertility but as yet we don’t fully understand how it impacts. For some women, stress and how they cope with stress affects ovulation and there is some evidence to say that stress may impact on fertilisation and implantation but more research is required to understand this complex area better. Whilst it is impossible to avoid all stress, you can control how you cope with it, to help improve egg quality over 35. It is important to consider your own personal emotional strategy. You may like to make your strategy up with relaxation techniques, exercise, yoga or fertility coaching.