The biological clock is real ladies which means your age impacts your egg quality by lessening your chances of conception and increasing your chances of enduring a pregnancy loss. That’s because, by the time you reach 40, less than half of your eggs are considered “normal”, impacting your odds of pregnancy mainly because of your ovarian environment. The good news is, you can increase your ovarian environment by making some beneficial lifestyle changes.
What You Can Do
Along with age, your biological family tree greatly determines your chromosomally normal or abnormal egg quality. This can lead to either a healthy conception or a failure to conceive. Once you are in your later 30’s and 40s, your egg quality unfortunately isn’t as high making ovulation and fertilization more challenging. So if you are trying to conceive (TTC), you should know that good egg quality sets a solid foundation leading the way to a healthy pregnancy, and there are things you can do to boost your egg quality for optimal chances for conception.
-Handling stress optimally: When you are stressed, your body releases hormones like cortisol and prolactin which interfere with egg production. Great ways to lower unhealthy stress levels include a yoga or meditation practice, performing gentle exercises like walking and taking warm baths to help you relax. These also increase blood flow to your reproductive organs and balance your immune system.
-Eat healthy foods: Consuming nutritionally rich foods boost egg both health and quality. Incorporate whole grains, lean meats, leafy greens, fresh vegetables, fruit and nuts in your diet to give your body what it needs to support your eggs. Avoid processed foods and meats when possible and limit your salt and sugar intake.
-Maintain a healthy weight: You should strive for a healthy BMI (body mass index). Excess weight lowers your fertility and the quality of your eggs. Obesity affects your hormonal balance which in turn can inhibit ovulation. A high-fat, low-carb diet improves overall fertility and egg quality by lowering inflammation (which otherwise reduces blood flow to the ovaries) and balancing your reproductive hormones. Fat also helps by giving your body the energy and cell growth support it needs to conceive.
-Supplement your diet: Consider taking coenzyme Q10, melatonin and fish oil (Omega 3s). These supplements provide antioxidants to boost egg quality, support ovarian function and help you sleep better. Omega 3s preserve fertility and boost egg quality while Q10 provides antioxidants that support your mitochondria. This gives your body the energy it needs to perform DNA replication to increase high-quality egg production. Taking vitamin A boosts oocyte quality and embryo development, while vitamin E lowers oxidative stress and boosts follicular blood supply (necessary for high-quality eggs). Also, B vitamins help with DNA synthesis as well. Taking zinc can promote high-quality oocyte development while adding a folate supplement boosts oocyte quality, maturation, fertilization, and implantation.
-Get a good night’s sleep: Sleep is directly related to egg quality and fertility. It allows your body to fix cells, restore your energy and secrete hormones like melatonin. Melatonin is vital to reproductive processes so your body can develop high-quality, healthy eggs as it supports oocyte quality, ovulation and embryo development. This is especially helpful considering melatonin diminishes in women after 40.
-Improve your blood flow: Producing blood flow to the body that is oxygen-rich makes for better egg health. Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of water (ideally 64 oz. each day) is a great goal! You can also boost your blood flow with yoga poses like the lotus, child and reclining hero.
-Avoid cigarettes: Cigarettes have chemicals that actually mutate your egg cell’s DNA so they aren’t usable for conception while also speeding up egg loss in your ovaries.
-Stay away from caffeine and alcohol: Both of these habits interfere with fertility function, so limit caffeine and avoid alcohol altogether to support your egg quality.
-Freeze your eggs now: This is done to ensure their highest quality and chances of conception since your egg quality diminishes with age. You can counteract that by freezing your eggs now with cryopreservation so that your eggs will stay at the same level of health and quality as the day they were frozen!
Call Idaho Fertility Center Today!
We hope these lifestyle changes help you in your fertility journey, especially if you are over 40. Our Idaho Fertility Center team is ready to help you with your efforts to conceive. Our goal is to provide hope and peace of mind as you work on expanding your family. We welcome you to call us in Idaho Falls, ID, today at 208-529-2019! You are never alone on this journey and we are here for you.