Fertility 101: Improving Egg Quality
You must have heard this couple of times, how women who are experiencing infertility have poor-quality eggs. You might even had your personal experience with a failed IVF cycle and have been told such. But really, what does it mean and why is egg quality essential for success in infertility treatment? More importantly, how can you improve egg quality?
What is Egg Quality?
95% of embryo quality comes from the egg. Embryos must be strong enough to survive the early stages of development if you want to have a successful pregnancy. If you want to produce high-quality embryos, you have to have high-quality eggs. This is why egg quality is crucial in the success of fertility treatments.
However, as a woman ages, her ovaries’ ability to produce high-quality eggs starts to weaken. This is actually a condition referred to as diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) and is the most common cause of infertility for women over 40 years of age. These women have difficulty conceiving on their own because of their poor egg quality resulting to poor embryo quality.
How can egg quality be improved?
There are different ways to improve a woman’s egg quality.
When looking to improve egg quality, the first thing you need to consider is your lifestyle. Maximizing egg quality is predicated on maximizing your overall health.
The quickest route for most of us to improve our health is to improve our sleeping pattern. This can be as simple as going to bed on time. For others, however, it might be more complicated than that. There is little evidence when it comes to caffeine and having poor egg quality. That said, it is still important to minimize one’s intake of caffeine – just to be on the safe side. Four cups per day of coffee would be too much. It is advised to consider limiting yourself to one per day.
Quitting smoking is definitely a helpful choice. Drinking alcohol is one other factor you need to consider. Although there is still no “safe” amount, you might feel the urge to drink especially since fertility can be quite stressful. Be reminded that mind that egg quality changes start young. Drugs, alcohol, and smoking can affect egg quality and cannot be often changed. If you feel like you want to drink, consult your doctor first.
When it comes to a woman’s weight, egg quality is associated with being under or overweight. It is still best to achieve your ideal weight based on your body mass index (BMI) to have a potential upside for your eggs.
Traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture have proven to improve a woman’s fertility. With naturopathic treatment, the root cause of health issues is given more attention rather than just treating symptoms. The efficiency of acupuncture usually manifests within six months.
There are certain supplements that should be taken for a minimum of two months, but generally, six months will be trial enough. To know which supplements you should take, please consult your doctor first.
If you are interested to discuss different fertility treatment options, please setup an appointment with Dr. Fay Weisberg today.