A major cause of infertility in women is the quality of the egg. The quantity, quality, and availability of these eggs determine embryo quality and healthy pregnancy. Poor egg quality happens due to reducing ovarian reserve and is common in women over 35. While it is an important matter, it is never considered until they are about to get pregnant or are struggling with it. Once they find out, most women first want to try a home remedy or a natural way to boost it. Here are some of the ways of improving the egg quality naturally for IVF as well as conception.
Before you jump into how to increase the quality of eggs, here are a few things to know.
Why does Egg Quality become Important?
When eggs get fertilised with sperm, egg quality becomes important as this promotes the development of a strong embryo. A quality egg has a better chance of the embryo implanting into the uterus. In simple terms, better-quality eggs make for better-quality embryos and result in successful pregnancies. Having the required amount of chromosomes and their ability to fuse with the sperms are important characteristics of good quality, healthy egg.
It can also be because the egg has no energy to divide post-fertilization and hence cannot survive.
Measuring the Quality of Eggs
Though there is no test to check the exact quality of eggs, various factors give a good picture of the health of your egg. It includes:
- * Age: As a woman ages, the eggs become weak and can result in miscarriage or infertility. The Mid to late 30s is the time when the quantity and quality of eggs decline rapidly.
- * Hormone levels: An AMH (anti-mullerian hormone) test can help determine the eggs there are on reserve. Women with PCOS have a high quantity of poor-quality eggs.
- * FSH: An estradiol and follicle-stimulating hormone, FSH can indicate the quality of eggs.
- * Antral follicle count: It shows the number of follicles present on the ovaries. Each of these may mature and release eggs which result in pregnancy.
How to Improve Egg Quality?
Here are a few ways to improve your egg quality for IVF or conception.
- * Boost blood flow: Oxygenated blood to the ovaries is crucial for having healthy eggs. To increase the oxygenated blood flow to these organs, it is essential to stay hydrated. Consume at least 6 to 8 glasses of water or fluid per day. Exercise also plays an important role as it increases blood flow to the heart and provides optimal circulation throughout the body. Yoga or massage therapy can also aid in blood flow.
- * Consume a healthy diet: Having good overall health is one of the ways to have good quality eggs. What you drink and eat has an impact on it. Research shows
that fruits, vegetables, and other nutrient-rich foods help in improving fertility. Make sure your diet contains only healthy foods and avoid sugary and processed foods with saturated fats. Minimise your caffeine and alcohol consumption as it can affect your fertility. Apart from eating healthy, it is also advised to consume supplements that help produce eggs. Also, melatonin, vitamins A and E, and fish oil boost the quality of eggs.
- * Do not smoke: Women planning to conceive or undergoing IVF should stay away from cigarettes. Smoking speeds up the loss of eggs in the ovaries. Additionally, the harmful chemicals in these cigarettes change the DNA in the egg cells, making them unviable for conception. Women, as they age, have fewer eggs, so it is best to keep healthy eggs away from harmful chemicals.
- * Manage stress: Stress can cause prolactin and cortisol production, which hinders egg production and halt/interfere with ovulation. So include stress-reducing activities like exercise, yoga, meditation, and anything else that helps you keep stress at bay.
- * Maintain a healthy weight: One of the common causes of infertility and decreased quality of eggs is obesity. When you are overweight, it can lead to hormonal imbalance and also disrupts ovulation. Maintain a BMI between 18.5 to 24.9, as that is the recommended weight for a successful pregnancy.
While there is no magic wand to increase the quality of eggs for a successful pregnancy, certain food and lifestyle changes can promote healthy egg development.
Stick to a healthy diet and exercise regularly to take charge of your fertility journey.
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