While it is true that age commonly determines ovarian and egg health – based on scientific evidence – many lifestyle factors can have a significant impact on the health of the ovaries and eggs, such as environmental influences, hormonal changes in the body, stress.
We also need to consider our body’s overall health, and so additional aspects to consider include:
- Good Blood Flow and Circulation
- A Healthy Fertility Cycle
- Normal Hormonal Levels
- Good/Excellent Egg Quality
Why Is Egg Health Important?
Egg quality is the key to optimised fertility health. The health of your eggs (ova) can affect whether or not fertilisation and implantation can take place, as well as whether a pregnancy can occur.
The decline in fertility as we age is almost entirely a result of the decline in egg quantity and quality. We see this with older patients who use donor eggs, as they go on to have pregnancy rates similar to younger women.
Age therefore does impact on new eggs because the ovaries continue to age, causing eggs to be less than optimal. Protecting your egg quality as well as encouraging ovarian health through diet, herbs, supplements, and increasing circulation to the reproductive system is therefore vital for fertility.
The Cycle of an Egg
Many women who have continuous trouble falling pregnant have various options to try, such as using an egg donor, IVF, surrogacy or adoption. But what most women don’t realise is that there are steps to take that can support the health of the ovaries and eggs.
During the cycle of an egg’s journey towards ovulation, there is a window of opportunity, a period of time, when certain factors can affect the health of the eggs that are preparing for ovulation. The cycle of an egg in preparation for ovulation is around 90 days.
During this 90-day period before an egg reaches full maturation, the eggs are changing and preparing for ovulation.
At this time, they are affected by both healthy or unhealthy influences. Contributing factors to egg health are:
- Blood Flow
- Regular Oxygenation
- Hormonal Balance
All of these areas are important to focus on when working towards improving the health of your eggs.
Blood Flow/Regular Oxygenation:
Oxygen-rich blood flow to the ovaries is essential for good egg health. Blood flow can decrease from lack of exercise, dehydration, and thick blood. To increase blood flow to the ovaries, you should:
Drink at least 6-8 glasses of water every day (approximately 2 litres):
Dehydration can cause your blood to become thick and can decrease circulation in the body. Make sure to drink purified water where possible. A good way to ensure you get enough water every day, have a water bottle on your desk at work that you are able to fill up regularly, this way you stay hydrated and fresh!
Find an activity you really enjoy doing, such as walking, running, dancing, or fertility yoga.
Exercise increases the blood flow in the body, brings fresh blood to all of the cells, and helps to oxygenate the blood. It also increases your endorphins (happy hormones) and alleviates stress!
Hormonal balance is essential for proper egg health. Due to environmental factors, stress, and modern diets, more and more women are becoming hormonally imbalanced. If hormonal balance is off, the eggs may not respond, the fertility cycle gets out of sync, and ovulation may not occur. An intricate hormonal symphony is at play every month in preparation and fulfillment of the fertility cycle. But there is good news; balancing your hormones is possible.
Here are some ways to help balance your hormones and nourish the endocrine system:
The time while you are preparing for conception is one of the most important times to create a healthy body in preparation for pregnancy. It is also the best time to do a fertility cleanse. Fertility cleansing is a way to support the body in preparation for conception by cleansing the uterus and liver. A fertility cleanse encourages the liver to cleanse the body of toxins and excess hormones. It also supports the uterus to cleanse itself of old stagnant blood and increases circulation to the uterus while tonifying the uterine tissues.
Note: Do not cleanse during pregnancy or breastfeeding. You do not want to expose your baby to your body’s toxins as they circulate in your blood on the way out.
Introduce Superfood “Maca” to Your Diet:
Maca can help balance hormones as it supports your endocrine system. One of the key benefits of maca is its ability to boost fertility or treat infertility problems. Natives of the Andes mountains (where maca is grown) have long used maca as a fertility aid.
Try where possible to stick to organic/grass-fed protein, buy raw and stay away from man-made products that contain trans-fats. Stop using pesticides of all sorts, bug sprays, lawn sprays. – Instead use organic treatments for your lawn and garden, and natural bug sprays made with essential oils
What you eat can definitely impact the health of your ovaries and eggs. The types of nutrients your eggs depend on are found in a diet dense in nutrition. We work closely with Emily Innes, who a specialist in fertility-related nutrition and women’s health.
Fertility foods to consider:
- Dark Leafy Veg
- Seeds / Nuts
What to avoid:
- Excessive Alcohol
- Refined Sugar
- Non-organic meats
- Fizzy drinks
- Low-fat Diets
- GMO Foods
- Processed Foods
Start Taking Supplements:
Speak to one of our Fertility Specialists about taking a good quality multivitamin, and ask him/her to recommend good antioxidants, mitochondrial nutrients, amino acids alongside the treatment chosen for you.
Stress has a detrimental impact on fertility. Women who are constantly under stress produce prolactin, cortisol, and other hormones, which can interfere with or even block regular ovulation.
If you are trying to improve your egg health, reducing your stress levels should be a major focus in your life. This is easier said than done, we know, but during this period, it is vital that your emotional and physical health becomes your priority. If you need to, block out some quiet time in your diary for yourself every day:
- Go for a walk outside in nature – either a forest or beach walk is the best!
- Light some candles and take a long relaxing bubble bath
- Snuggle in bed with a good book
- Get a manicure, massage or reflexology treatment
- Drink some relaxing herbal tea, such as chamomile or peppermint
- Practice Meditation
- Practice Fertility Yoga – we highly recommend Harriet Came at Bloom Yoga
- Go for Fertility Coaching – we would highly recommend Amanda Dunsby at Fertile Beings
Supporting egg health is important for every woman who is preparing for conception, especially as we get older. There are many things you can do to help support and protect your egg health, but they must done consistently on a daily basis for at least 90 days to have the best effect.
At HART are always on-hand to offer you tailor-made holistic treatment plans that empower you to take – and maintain – control of your own health and fertility. Our holistic approach offers you a range of complementary therapies, alongside the best of what conventional medicine has to offer globally, on your personalized path to parenthood.