One of the most common challenges in infertility is that of egg quality.
We are born with a set number of eggs that decrease over time until we reach menopause. As we age, we not only have fewer eggs, but the quality declines with time. Both make it more difficult to get pregnant and harder to carry a healthy baby to term.
There are additional factors that can contribute to lower egg quality as well, such as PCOS, endometriosis and premature ovarian aging. While we cannot change the number of eggs we are born with, we can influence the quality of our eggs.
The good news is that it takes 90 days for an egg to mature for ovulation and you can influence developing eggs over the course of several months.
Here are 4 tips to improve your egg quality to improve your chances of getting and staying pregnant.
1. Clean up your diet
What we take in as food and drink ends up building and fueling our cells, so we want the best possible building blocks. Focus on veggies and low-sugar fruits like berries, healthy protein and fats like pasture-raised poultry and fish, avocados, olives, nuts and seeds. Keep your carbohydrate intake on the low to moderate side (30% or less of your total daily food intake) from foods like starchy veggies like sweet potatoes, beets, potato, whole grains and legumes.
Consider adding supplements to help support mitochondrial function and reduce oxidative damage to cells. These include CoQ10, NAD, inositol, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants like açaí, resveratrol, and alpha-lipoic acid. Talk to your practitioner about a regimen that will be the best support for you.
3.Reduce damage to existing eggs
By severely limiting or eliminating alcohol, processed foods and added sugars, you reduce damage to existing eggs. Additionally, reducing caffeine intake is helpful to ensure maximum blood flow to the ovaries. Stress reduction techniques like meditation, mindfulness and movement release built up tension and increase endorphins.
4. Get Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a great way to promote egg health by improving circulation of blood, oxygen and nutrients to the ovaries. We use microcurrent electro-acupuncture to boost the effects leading up to ovulation or an IVF retrieval.
Not only does acupuncture help to improve blood flow, but it also reduces stress and balances hormones, which can also influence egg quality. Lokahi Acupuncture offers a free 15 minute consultation if you have questions about how acupuncture can help you on your fertility journey.
Cathryn Davidson, L.Ac. is a senior fertility specialist at Lokahi Acupuncture.
Click here if you would like to schedule a free online consultation to evaluate if acupuncture might be right for you.