Improve Egg Quality and Optimize Fertility with These 12 Steps
“Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock….. your biological clock is ticking.”
How many times have you heard this and panicked!? Perhaps, you have been trying and trying to conceive and this "clock" is just another stressor in the whole process. You are definitely not alone and there is good news!
While yes, it is true that a woman’s egg quality does start to deteriorate once a woman reaches their 30s, it is not too late! Egg quality can be improved!!
Egg quality depends on several different factors: age, hormone status, diet, lifestyle, body mass, stress, antioxidant status and environmental factors. Once we work on cleaning up these aspects of our lives, the health of our eggs will improve.
As a note, patience is needed as this egg quality improvement will not happen overnight. It takes approximately 90 days to support and improve egg quality. “Why,” you may ask? The cycle of an egg as it matures and prepares for ovulation is about 90 days.
During these crucial 90 days, before your ovulate, your eggs are maturing and preparing for their release from the ovary (ovulation).
As part of your egg quality optimization treatment at Natural Choice Medical Clinic, your Naturopathic Doctor will encourage you to put the following twelve practices into play.
1. Quit smoking. Smoking is extremely pro-inflammatory/oxidative and likely accounts for 13% of all female infertility cases.
2. Avoid pesticides, alcohol, caffeine (> 500mg/day), processed foods, smoked foods. All of these things are considered “reproductive toxins” and they can suppress healthy ovulation.
3. Cut out the sugar. Research shows delayed conception time in women who have higher HbA1c levels; a measurement of our body’s “sugar burden”.
4. Engage in moderate exercise 5-7 days per week for 30-60 minutes per day. Some great examples of moderate exercise include: yoga, walking, hiking, cycling, water aerobics, dancing. These activities reduce inflammation, increase blood flow to the pelvis/ovaries, reduce stress, improve mood and improve sexual function.
5. Eat a diet rich in healthy fats. Dietary intake of omega 3 fatty acids is associated with improved embryo structure. Healthy fat sources include: fish oils, olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, hemp oil, nuts and seeds.
6. Drink plenty of water. Aim to drink half of your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, drink at least 70 ounces (2 litres) of water each day. Clean, spring water is preferable. Water is essential for proper circulation, egg health, cervical fluid quality and cellular detoxification.
7. Maintain optimal BMI. Today, 23% of women of reproductive age are obese. Obesity leads to increased rates of ovulatory/menstrual disorders and infertility. Ask your Naturopathic Doctor for help calculating your optimal BMI and for tips on how to achieve your ideal weight.
8. Reduce stress - Try things like massage, acupuncture, meditation, a relaxing vacation, short naps. Most importantly, aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each and every night.
9. Reduce your environmental toxin load. Many common household products, cosmetics, toiletries and plastics contain endocrine disrupting ingredients. Be sure to ask your Naturopathic Doctor how you can reduce your toxin load and what clean products they can recommend for you.
10. Use antioxidants, herbs and nutraceuticals as recommended by your Naturopathic Doctor. There are several herbs and nutraceuticals which have proven through research to improve egg quality. Your Naturopathic Doctor will educate you about these supplements and their appropriate dosages.
11. Include your partner in this process. You don’t have to tackle all of these changes alone. It is always easier when you have a partner. The great news for your partner is that all of these things, which are required to improve egg quality, also improve SPERM quality! So why not do this together?
12. Complete hormone testing regularly. Regular testing will make it possible for you to monitor your improvements. Your Naturopathic Doctor is able to requisition the necessary testing.
To optimize your success, it is best to seek the guidance of our experienced Naturopathic Doctors who can provide you with an individualized program which best suits your life and your needs.
Supporting Egg Quality and Pregnancy Outcomes with Naturopathic Medicine. OAND Lecture. Dr. Z Uraz, ND. 2017 Novemeber 19.
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Sturmey R, Reis A, Leese H, McEvoy T. Role of FaSy Acids in Energy Provision During Oocyte Matura'on and Early Embryo Development. Reproduc'on in Domes'c Animals. 2009;44:50-58.
Pertynska-Marczewska M, Diaman'-Kandarakis E. Aging ovary and the role for advanced glyca'on end products. Menopause. 2017;24(3):345-351.
RiSenberg V, Seshadri S, Sunkara S, Sobaleva S, Oteng-N'm E, El-Toukhy T. Effect of body mass index on IVF treatment outcome: an updated systema'c review and meta-analysis. Reproduc've BioMedicine Online. 2011;23(4):421-439.
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