There are many factors that may impact the health of the ovaries and eggs including environmental factors, hormones in the diet, and stress just to name a few.
In addition having healthy fertility is based on many additional factors including…
A healthy fertility cycle
and healthy eggs
Why Is Egg Health Important?
Egg health is one of the cornerstones of healthy fertility. The health of your eggs (ovum) can affect whether or not fertilization and implantation will occur as well as the viability of a pregnancy. In the past is has been thought that we are born with all of the eggs cells we will have for the rest of our lives, hence the reason age can have such an impact on egg health. Egg cells are some of the only cells in the body that do not regenerate… or at least that has been the belief up until now. Recent research has brought up some promising new views on egg production – women may actually produce eggs throughout the reproductive years. Scientists have found stem cells within the ovaries that produce new egg cells (Nature, 2004).
Regardless of this study, age did still have an impact on the new eggs. This is due to the ovaries continuing to age, causing the “housing” for the eggs to not be optimal. This shows the importance of what we are going to cover in this article. Protecting the eggs you currently have as well as encouraging ovarian health through diet, herbs, supplements and increased circulation to the reproductive system.
90 Days: The Cycle of an Egg
Many women who are having trouble getting pregnant have been told by their doctors that their eggs are not healthy, or that there eggs are “old”. The options usually given to these women include using an egg donor, IVF, or adoption. But what most women don’t know, is that there are things you can do to help support the health of the ovaries and eggs, but it must be done for at least 90 days to have an impact.
During the cycle of an eggs 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 is ovulated, the eggs are changing and preparing for ovulation. At this time they are able to be affected, by both healthy or unhealthy influences. The eggs can be affected by:
These are the factors you’ll want to focus on when increasing the health of your eggs. Let’s look at each factor closer, and examine how you can have an impact on that area…
Blood Flow and Proper 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 follow these suggestions:
Get at least 8, 8oz. glasses of pure water every day.
Dehydration can cause your blood to become thick and decrease circulation in the body, as well as many other issues. Make sure to drink purified water that is NOT bottled in plastic. An easy way to get a head start every morning, is to put a quart of water next to your bed when you go to sleep. You can then drink a quart of water upon rising and you are half way done with your water for the day.
Find something to do that includes movement, such as tennis, 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.
Get Abdominal or Fertility Massage
One of the best therapies for increasing blood flow to the reproductive system is by massaging your uterus and ovaries. Massage helps to bring fresh, oxygenated blood to the ovaries and removes old stagnant blood. You can have a massage therapist perform abdomen massage or find a therapist who specializes in fertility or Cupping abdominal massage. You can also learn how to apply Self Fertility Massage and do it in the comfort of your own home. It is best done starting the day after your period has ended and continue all month long, practicing at least 4 times a week. If you are currently trying to conceive, perform the massage techniques from the day after your period has ended up until ovulation.
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 balance, 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.
Cleanse the system of excess hormones
Use the fertility superfood Maca
Reduce exposure to xenohormones
If your FSH levels are high the herb Vitex has been shown to help support normal hormone levels
During this window of opportunity, what you are eating can also impact the health of your ovaries and eggs either positively or negatively. It’s up to you. The types of nutrients your eggs depend on are found in a diet dense in nutrition. Check out the Nutrient Dense Fertility Diet for a complete guide about eating for fertility and egg health. Here are some quick food suggestions for supporting egg health:
Top foods for egg health
Fields of Green
Dark Leafy veggies
Foods that may damage egg health
Non-organic meats and dairy
Low fat diet
Take a Multivitamin
A major key to supporting egg health and preparing the uterine lining is to take a prenatal multivitamin. Making sure your body has all of the nutrients necessary is a lot easier when you are taking a multivitamin. Synthetic multivitamins won’t have the same effect as multivitamins made from whole foods. It is also a great idea to begin taking a multivitamin specific for fertility health, in preparation for pregnancy since there are specific nutrients needed by the embryo/fetus before pregnancy can even be detected.
Antioxidants are one of the most important components to having healthy fertility that every man and woman needs to focus on, especially if you are wanting to support your egg health. Antioxidants help to protect the egg and sperm from free radical damage. Free radicals are able to damage both cell health and the cell’s DNA, this could have an effect on the ability to get pregnant, sustain a healthy pregnancy and the chances of possible birth defects. The ovum (egg) are one of the longest living cells in your body, as the years pass they become exposed and vulnerable to free radicals on daily basis. This adds up. Network Antioxidants was created by Dr. Lester Packer, the leading antioxidant expert in the United States. It contains all of the most important antioxidant nutrients in a capsule form which you can take one capsule, twice a day. This blend is great for both men and women and should be a part of everyone’s health program, especially for egg health.
In addition to taking an antioxidant supplement blend, CoEnzyme Q10 supplementation can help improve egg health and fertilization rates, especially in women over 35. As a woman ages, her body’s ability to convert ubiquinone to Ubiquinol declines. It is the most biologically active form of coenzyme Q10 and does not need to be converted by the body. For women over the age of 35, NutraQ10 supplementation alongside an antioxidant blend, may greatly help to improve egg health over a few months time.
L-arginine is an amino acid that has been shown in studies to increase ovarian response, endometrial receptivity, and pregnancy rates in IVF patients who supplemented in large doses of L-arginine. (Published in Human Reproduction 1999).
Fertility superfoods are nutrient dense foods that help to nourish the body with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants. One of my favorite ways to take fertility superfoods is to put them in fertility smoothies.
Maca is an incredible fertility super food. It helps to balance the hormones, but does not contain any hormones itself. It is able to do this by nourishing and balancing the endocrine system. This is essential in preparing for pregnancy and IVF because healthy hormonal balance greatly contributes to healthier eggs.
Royal Jelly is a fertility superfood which may help to increase the egg quality and quantities. Royal Jelly is the food that only the queen bee eats. What makes a queen bee the queen is eating royal jelly exclusively. She was an ordinary bee and then she was chosen and fed royal jelly and became the queen bee who lays up to 2000 eggs a day. It should be taken for at least three months before natural conception or IVF procedures begin.
Royal jelly is the Queen bee’s equivalent of hormonal stimulation. Take daily for best results. Caution:: If you are allergic or think you are allergic to bees or bee products, do not take royal jelly.
Fields Greens is a nutrient rich supplement. It contains antioxidants, minerals, and proteins that help to alkalize the body and nourish your eggs. Take one twice a day.
Dr. Allen Morgan and Dr. Douglas Rabin (reproductive medicine physicians) discovered that “stress also 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.”
So, if you are trying to improve your egg health, reducing your stress levels should be a major focus in your life. How can this be achieved? Well, first it needs to become a priority. Book some quiet time in your calendar for yourself. During your “quiet time” you could: